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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Walt Disney and Toys For Tots - A Christmas Story



In  Los Angeles, CA back in 1947, a woman named Diane Hendricks hand crafted a Raggedy Ann type doll and asked her husband Bill to it donate to a charity where it could be given as a gift to a needy child at Christmas. As the story goes, Bill told Diane that he was unable to find a charitable organization that was set up to do that sort of distribution. Diane told Bill that maybe he should start one and so Bill Hendricks set up Toys for Tots but he needed help. Bill was a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. He had a ready made work force of hard working (but big hearted) volunteers - namely the U.S. Marines who were in the reserves. 

Being a reservist in the Marine Corps was Bill's weekend job. Monday through Friday, Bill Hendricks was Director of Public Relations at Warner Bros. Studios. Bill knew some well known celebrities and entertainers who he could enlist as supporters for his Toys For Tots project and one of those he sought some support from was Walt Disney. Walt designed the original Toys for Tots logo that is still used to this day and ever since Walt's initial support for the Toys for Tots charity, the Walt Disney Company has continued to be a major proponent of this most worthy charitable foundation.

What began locally in Los Angeles in 1947 grew nationally in 1948, distributing toys to thousands of needy children in every community where the Marine Reservist were based. Toys for Tots has continued to distribute toys to children every Christmas since 1948 at to date has distributed more than 450 million toys to children.

Toys for Tots sits extremely high as a worthy and reputable charitable organization by those who watch where charities distribute their donations. It has never wavered from its original purpose for distributing toys to those in need at Christmas just as Bill and Diane Hendricks wished. So like Walt did many years ago, support the U.S. Marine Corps and their Toys for Tots Christmas drive. You will be glad you did. Giving to others, especially those less fortunate than ourselves, is kind of what Christmas is all about.

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