Here is some background in fo on the Toys For Tots program.
  • 1947
    Major Bill Hendricks founds the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program in Los Angeles, California. 5000 toys collected during a campaign before Christmas 1947.

  • 1948
    The United States Marine Corps adopt s Toys for Tots, and expands it into a nationwide community action project as the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Marines at each Reserve Center throughout the nation conduct toy collection and distribution campaigns in the communities s urrounding the center. Walt Disney designs the now famous Toys for Tots train logo and creates the first national Toys for Tots poster. These Christmas posters have become a recognized part of the annual program, and through the years have featured such notable characters as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Dennis the Menace, Bugs Bunny, and the Road Runner. Posters have also been designed by a member of the Association of Handicapped Artists and by Marine Corps Reserve artists

  • 1949
    Major celebrities begin to endorse the program. Over the years Toys for Tots spokespersons have included John Wayne, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, George Strait, Brooke Shields, Charlton Heston, Ann Margaret, Sammy Davis, Jr., Doris Day, Andy Griffith, Charlie Daniels, Clint Eastwood, Lorrie Morgan, Johnny Carson and Tim Allen. First Ladies Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush served as National Toys for Tots spokespersons.

  • 1956
    Oscar winning songwriters Sammy Fain and Paul Webster compose the Toys for Tots theme, which was later recorded by Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee and Vic Damone.

  • 1959
    Toys for Tots goes international. Although the program is designed to be a local program for local children of the United States, Toys for Tots went international on three occasions. The first followed the catastrophic typhoon that devastated the city of Nagoya, Japan in 1959. The other two occasions were to the Republic of Panama following the invasion in 1988, and to the Caribbean following Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

  • 1960
    KABC-TV of Los Angeles receives the highest non-military award possible from the Commandant of the Marine Corps for sponsoring a spectacular Toys for Tots Circus.

  • 1962
    New York Yankees sponsor first major sports event to benefit Toys for Tots - a "bring a toy game" with the Washington Senators. Since then the world of professional sports, both teams and individual athletes from virtually every sport, have supported toys for Tots.

  • 1970
    The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program continues to grow, as does public support. More businesses become involved and local civilian organizations and individuals assist Reserve units with local programs. Program grows to the level of about 8,000,000 toys collected and distributed annually. From 1947 through Christmas 1979, Marines collected and distributed both new and used toys. Reservists refurbished used toys on drill weekends during October, November, and December.

  • 1980
    From Christmas 1980 onward, Marines have collected and distributed only new toys. First Lady Nancy Reagan was the National Spokesperson for Toys for Tots.

  • 1990
    First national television network promotion for Toys for Tots. King World, Merv Griffin Productions' evening television game show, "Wheel of Fortune", and Pizza Hut conduct a three week promotion of Toys for Tots that raises nearly $3,000,000. It set several records that are recorded in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for participation and donations made to a call in promotional. Marine Corps Reserve units collected and distributed over 7.9 million toys. Marine Reserves are mobilized for Desert Shield/Storm, but Toys for Tots goes on.

  • 1991
    Marine Reserve units collect and distribute over 7.4 million toys. Secretary of Defense authorized the Marine Corps to recognize and work with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. In September, the Foundation became an operational organization and supported Toys for Tots for the first time during the Christmas 1991 campaign. The Foundation provided 500,000 toys to supplement the collections of Reserve Units.

  • 1992
    Marine Reserve units collect and distribute over 7.4 million toys. Marine Toys for Tots Foundation provides over 250,000 toys for children of Florida and Louisiana who were victims of Hurricane Andrew. First Lady, Barbara Bush was National Spokesperson for TFT. The Marine Corps and everyone associated with Toys for Tots mourns the passing of the founder of Toys for Tots, Colonel William L. Hendricks, USMCR (Ret), on March 29 at age 87.

  • 1993
    Marine Reserve Units collect and distribute over 8,000,000 toys. Marine Toys for Tots Foundation provided 959,000 of those toys. Special toy deliveries were made to the victims of the Mississippi basin floods.

  • 1994
    Marine Reserve Units collect over 6,800,000 toys and bring the joy of Christmas to 3,400,000 underprivileged children. The Foundation provided over 800,000 of these toys.

  • 1995
    Marine Reserve Units collect over 8,100,000 toys and distributed them to over 4,200,000 underprivileged children. The Foundation provided over 2,000,000 of these toys. TV star, Tim Allen was the National Toys for Tots Spokesperson. Secretary of Defense approved Toys for Tots as an official program of the U.S. Marine Corps and as an official mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

  • 1996
    Marine Reserve Units collected over 7,200,000 toys and brought the joy of Christmas to over 4,100,000 underprivileged children. The Foundation provided over 2,000,000 of these toys. Country Western singer Garth Brooks supported Toys for Tots by giving concerts dedicated to the program and by provid ing public service announcements to aid local program efforts. Commander, Marine Forces Reserve expands Toys for Tots to cover all 50 states by authorizing selected Marine Corps League Detachments and selected local civilian organizations (generally former Marines), located in communities far removed from Marine Reserve Centers, to conduct toy collection and distribution campaigns in their communities as part of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

  • 1997
    Marines celebrate the 50th anniversary of Toys for Tots. On June 6th, the President, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation hosted a 50th anniversary reception at the John Philips Sousa Band Hall at Marine Barracks, Washington, DC. The reception featured an inspiring speech by the 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Charles C. Krulak. Following the reception, the Marine Corps dedicated their traditional Friday evening parade at Marine Barracks, Washington to Toys for Tots. On December 3rd, Warners Brothers Studio hosted a 50th anniversary Toys for Tots event at their Hollywood studio during which the late Bill Hendricks was posthumously presented the Department of the Navy Meritorious Public Service Award. The support of millions of caring American’s and a large contingent of national corporations enabled Marines to collect and distribute over 10,000,000 toys to over 4,700,000 needy children throughout the nation at Christmas 1997. This made the 1997 Toys for Tots campaign the most successful campaign in the history of the program. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation also had its most successful campaign enabling the Foundation to be able to provide Marines with over 3,300,000 of the 10,000,000 toys distributed by Marines. Entertainer Kenny Rogers was the National Spokesperson during the 50th Anniversary year.

  • 1998
    Marines began the second 50 years of Toys for Tots! The campaign was launched with the annual Toys for Tots reception at Marine Barracks, Washington, DC, hosted by the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Once again, millions of caring American\rquote s and a record 58 national corporations supported Toys for Tots.

  • 1998
    Marines collected and distributed over 11,200,000 toys to over 4,800,000 needy children throughout all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa. The extraord inary efforts of the 314 local Toys for Tots coordinators, along with the support of Americans nationwide and corporate America, made 1998 the most successful campaign in the history of the program. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation provided 6,800,000 of the 11,200,000 toys distributed by the Marines.

  • 1999
    Marines and volunteers in 342 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa collected and distributed over 13.7 million toys to 5.9 million needy children. This was the most extensive nationwide coverage in the 52 year history of Toys for Tots. The ’99 campaign also surpassed all previous records for collecting toys and for helping needy children experience the joy of Christmas. The Foundation provided 7,500,000 of the 13,700,000 toys distributed by the thousands of Marines and volunteers who give their time each year in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
NOTE: can be found http://www.toysfortots.org/2000/Chron.html

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