For many, the holidays are a time when families come together and exchange gifts. However, if you have fallen upon hard economic times, you may not be able to spare money for a toy or two. That’s where Toys for Tots can help. Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them holiday gifts. The mission of the program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as holiday gifts to needy children. Parents and friends can nominate themselves or a family they think needs help, and Toys for Tots may be able to provide toys for that family.
What are the criteria to qualify for Toys for Tots?
There are no specific qualifications to nominate yourself or a family for Toys for Tots. However, there is no guarantee that every family signed up will receive gifts. Which families are selected to receive toys depends on each individual local center that runs the program, how many toys that center has and the number of families nominated to receive toys. You can sign your family up to be considered by Toys for Tots by following these simple steps:
- Go to the Toys for Tots website (www.toysfortots.org).
- Click on the ‘Request Toys’ link at the top of the page (http://www.toysfortots.org/request_toys/default.aspx).
- From here you will be directed to a drop down menu. Select your state and county.
- Once you have selected a state and county, you will be presented with a name of the person in charge of the local campaign center, along with a link. Click on this link and provide the requested information. This will generally include:
- Your name
- Proof of residency
- A brief explanation about why your family needs to receive a Toys for Tots present.
When is the deadline to apply for Toys for Tots?
Each county’s program has its own deadlines to apply. If you missed the deadline this year, keep it in mind for 2013.