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|BANGOR AREA TOYS FOR TOTS|
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|MISSION OF THE MARINE TOYS FOR TOTS |
The mission of the Foundation is to assist the U.S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas. The focus of this assistance is supporting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. This support includes raising funds to provide toys to supplement the collections of local Toys for Tots coordinators; defraying the costs of conducting annual Toys for Tots compaigns; providing administrative, advisory, financial, logistic, and promotional support to local coordinators; providing other support the Marine Corps, as a federal agency, cannot provide; and conducting public education and information programs which call the general public to action in support of Toys for Tots.
| HOW TOYS FOR TOTS ALL STARTED|
TOYS FOR TOTS: It all started with a Rag Doll: U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots is celebrating its 61 years this year, thanks to Bill and Diane Hendricks, who started the program for needy Los Angeles children during Christmas 1947.
Diane Hendricks had collected some toys and had knitted a red and white rag doll to give to some underprivileged children, She couldn't find anyone collecting toys, so she turned to her husband, Bill, for help.
Hendricks, then a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve at the Chavez Ravine station, suggested to his Commanding Officer that Marine Reservists initiate a toy drive. "He liked the Idea," Hendricks(a retired Colonel) recalled. "And he said two words:"Don't Fail."
The Marines collected 7,000 toys that year, with the Hendricks'(who never had children of their own) and their friends delivering them to families until midnight Christmas Eve. "Anybody who said hello to me that first year got drafted to deliver toys," said Hendricks.
Last year, Toys for Tots volunteers in 558 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico-the most extensive conerage in the history of the program. Toys for Tots distrbuted 19.2 million new toys to 7.6 million needy youngsters throughout the nation. This was the most succussful campaign in the 59 year history of Toys for Tots.
Collection Boxes for the drive can be found at many corporate headquarters, churches, social and civic orgainizations. Toys for Tots have become a traditional Christmas fixtures at Warner Studios, where Hendricks previously worked as publicity director, assistant to studio head Jack Warner. He was director of the cartoon department and an Academy Award-winning documentary producer.
"It was a success right from the start,"Bill Hendricks said,"and it all started with that magical rag doll. it showed there was a need for this kind of program then, and I believe there's a bigger need today."
|BANGOR AREA TOYS FOR TOTS|
797 Wilson Street Brewer, ME 04412
phone: 207 992-2778/2779