Contributed by: Jeanette LoPiccolo, CRPC®
When you hear the words “Toys for Tots,” what comes to mind? For me, it’s the image of a wide eyed child filled with anticipation, unwrapping a colorful present on Christmas morning. I immediately smile when I think of the toy cars, dolls, and stuffed animals that generous patrons have given to families in need. I reflect on the relief that the parents may feel knowing that a present will be under the tree for their child.
How did this tradition start? It’s been around for so long that some of us may not know the history – I didn’t. After joining The Center’s charitable committee I had the opportunity to participate in this year’s collection. I was so impressed to learn that Diane Hendricks, the spouse of a Major in the Los Angeles Marine Reservists, hand crafted a doll in hopes of giving it to a needy child for Christmas in 1947.
Diane and her spouse, Bill, soon learned that there was no organization that existed to make her wish happen. So Bill decided to start the Toys for Tots project. Toys for Tots became an immediate success and the US Marine Corps Reserve has been collecting toys ever since!
Wondering how the toy drive works? Over the years, Marines have established close working relationships with social welfare agencies, churches and many local community agencies which are well qualified to identify the needy children in their community. These organizations play an important role in the distribution of the toys. Over 97% of the donations go to their mission of providing a much needed gift of joy to the less fortunate children on their community. In 2015, the program took place in 782 communities covering all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
The Center is pleased to participate with the Oakland County chapter of Toys for Tots for the second year in a row. The Center and our friends have shown their generosity once again this year. With generous donations and happy hearts the collection boxes were overflowing!
On behalf of The Center, thank you for your donations to the Toys for Tots project. We wish our community, all of our friends a very happy holiday season!
Jeanette LoPiccolo, CRPC® is a Client Service Manager at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®
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