National Toys for Tots program kicks off holiday campaign

ENID, Okla. — Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, marked the official kickoff for the Toys for Tots 2019 holiday campaign running through Christmas.

U.S. Marines and volunteers will be conducting 812 local toy collection and distribution campaigns in all 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Marines and more than 35,000 volunteers engage with local businesses, media and individuals within their communities collecting new, unwrapped toys and distributing those gifts to less fortunate children, allowing them to experience the joy of Christmas.

Toys for Tots is conducting 812 local campaigns in communities throughout the United States. To find a local campaign, visit Gail Wheeler is the local Toys for Tots coordinator. The number to call is (580) 548-3855.

There are an estimated 15 million children living in poverty in the United States. The mission of Marine Toys for Tots is to bring the joy of Christmas to less fortunate children with the goal to deliver a message of hope that will inspire youngsters to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

The objectives include having a positive impact on the development of children, creating or restoring self-esteem and bringing all elements of communities together in a common cause for three months each year.

Toys for Tots, a 72-year national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve,

The toys, books and other gifts collected and distributed by the Marines offer children recognition, confidence and a positive memory for a lifetime. It is such experiences that help children become responsible citizens and caring members of their community.

Last year, the Marine Toys for Tots Program fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of 7 million less fortunate children in over 800 communities nationwide. Since 1947, more than 258 million children have been assisted.

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Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @cassrains.
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