The Marine Corps Reserve has announced its Toys for Tots drop-off locations in Curry and Del Norte counties.
Last year, the organization purchased, collected and distributed more than 5,500 toys to more than 1,600 less fortunate children in the two counties, said coordinator Curt Lunsford. All money collected stay locally to purchase supplemental toys.
Toys for Tots was started in 1947 with a hand-crafted doll made by a Marine reserve’s wife, who asked him to deliver it to an organization that delivers gifts to the less fortunate.
Major Bill Hendricks couldn’t find one. To fill that void, he and members of his unit in Los Angele collected 5,000 toys to needy children that year.
“The seed was planted and Toys of Tots was born,” a press release said. The following year, that expanded to 74 other communities. Today, the program is active in more than 850 communities.
Since then, the Marine Corps Reserve have delivered more than 494 million toys to more than 230 million children nationwide. These days, more than 18 million toys are given to an average of 7 million children at Christmas.
“This is an incredible accomplishment, but they don’t tell the whole story,” a press release from the Marine Corps reads. “Every year, there’s a gap between the number of children needing toys and toys that are available.
“We sometimes hear — especially when a donor is trying to choose between two more more worthy charities — ‘It’s just a toy. With all the problems facing children in America today, what difference does a toy make?’”
The corps say it does.
“The answer is ‘hope,’” organization leader said. “How many times can a child miss out on the simploy joy of a toy at Christmas before he or she begins to lose hope. The simple gift of a shiny new toy can make a tremendous difference in the life of a child.”
In Brookings, new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off in bins at Barron’s Home Furnishings, Bi-Mart, Fred Meyer, Coastal Physical Therapy, Dollar General, Evergreen Bank, Kerr Ace Hardware, Rogue Credit Union, Re/Max, Chase Bank, Umpqua Bank, US Bank and the VFW Hall.
In Harbor, locations include Emerald Coast Estates, US Cellular, Rite Aid, Boardwalk Mail Services and Re/Max.
In Gold Beach, locations include Rachel’s Coffee, Port Hole Cafe, Corner Drug, Rogue River Museum, Sunset Family Pizza, Rogue Outdoor Store, Edward Jones, McKay’s Market, Rogue Federal Credit Union, Re/Max, Spinners, Double D’s Cafe, Foursquare Church and Calvary Chapel.
In Crescent City, locations include Chase Bank, Tri Counties Bank, Coast Central Credit Union, Aidan’s Toy Trove, Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware, Grocery Outlet, Safeway, Suburban Propane, Les Schwab, the VFW Hall and Dollar General in Smith River.