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With families under stay-at-home orders, the program, run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve — said it will distribute two million items across the country.
“While Marine Toys for Toys foundation is known as a Christmas time charity, we don’t want to wait until next holiday season to lessen the fear and anxiety of our children,” said Lt. Gen Jim Laster, president & CEO of the foundation.
Toys for Tots, a non-profit that normally provides needy families in the U.S. with toys around Christmas, has decided it can’t wait until then due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Local toy collection usually begins in October and lasts until mid to late December. Toy distribution occurs in mid to late December.
Campaigns are normally conducted annually in over 800 communities across all 50 states, but with COVID-19 limiting activity outside of homes, they requested outside help in distributing them immediately. Virginia based charity Good360 has allowed that to happen through its network of nonprofit partners.
“In order to provide immediate relief and assistance now, we have partnered with Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving, to distribute 2 million toys to families-in-need,” according to the program’s website.
Laster said his program has seen a “dramatic rise” in demand for household items, including toys, during the crisis, which he hopes could provide relief to families during a difficult time for many. The program will deliver two million toys, games, and books to families-in-need.
It was also made possible through donations from Hasbro, Lego, Disney, Funko, Five Below and Build-A-Bear, according to Ohio’s WBNS-TV.
The Marine Toys for Tots Program distributes an average of 18 million toys to seven million less fortunate children each year.
Toys for Tots was founded by reservist Major Bill Hendricks, upon the recommendation of his wife back in 1947.
To request toys, books or games for your nonprofit organization, you can visit: https://good360.org/toys-for-tots-donations/