EC_Nov10_ToysForTotsLOGOAs the holidays are upon us and planning for Christmas arrives, it’s also time to think about doing something special for children in need. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign is again under way, giving local residents an opportunity to purchase a toy for a boy or girl outside their family.

Toys for Tots began 63 years ago when Maj. Bill Hendricks and a group of Marine reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed more than 5,000 toys to needy children. Maj. Hendricks’ idea caught on and was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots the following year and expanded it into a nationwide program. In 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved Toys for Tots as an official activity of the U.S. Marine Corps and an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve.

Today, Toys for Tots is the Marine Corps’ premier community action program and one of the nation’s flagship Christmas charitable causes. Toys for Tots is the only charitable endeavor within the Department of Defense which reaches outside the military establishment to give something back to the communities. Toys for Tots has enjoyed over a half century of success because of the support of millions of caring Americans, local communities, and corporate sponsors, plus the dedication and hard work of thousands of U.S. Marines. Toys for Tots is a program which brings all elements of a community together in a common cause for three months each year. It is a program dedicated to helping in the development of our nation’s most valuable natural resource: our children. A shiny new toy at Christmas lets these youngsters know that someone cares.

The area Toys for Tots coordinator, Gunnery Sergeant Edward Barrett, is in charge of finding enough money and toys to fulfill the 900,000 toy requests for children in the 16 counties throughout metro Atlanta.

“Many people in metro Atlanta have been hit hard this year with the economy and job losses so we are working extra hard asking for more donations and drop-off points,” says Gunnery Sergeant Barrett.

Toys for Tots collects new unwrapped toys. The Marines ask that toys brought to the hundreds of drop-off points be unwrapped so they can be sorted and given to the right child. Toys are to be appropriate for children from birth to 12 years.

While the Marines organize, coordinate and manage the program, the ultimate success depends on the support of the local residents and their generosity.

Here are more ways you can help this year’s Toys for Tots campaign:
• Organize an event.
• Volunteer to help sort toys.
• Donate Money by sending a check or money order to: Toys for Tots, 1280 Field Pkwy Marietta, GA 30066.
• Conduct your own toy collection.
• Provide a service such as media or transportation
support for the campaign.
• Provide a philanthropic donation of cash or toys.

For information regarding volunteering or hosting an event, contact Gunnery Sergeant Edward Barrett at 678-225-4599 or e-mail:

Toys for Tots Drop-Off Points in East Cobb County:
DW Campbell Inc.
1291 Powers Ferry Road • Marietta, GA 30067
Collecting through December 21

DW Campbell of Marietta Inc.
3378 Canton Highway • Marietta, GA 30066
Collecting through December 21

Helping Hands Massage Studio
1450 Roswell Road, Suite A • Marietta, GA 30067
Collecting through December 14

Innova Management
2501 E. Piedmont Road • Marietta, GA 30062
Collecting through December 21

Lassiter High School
2601 Shallowford Road • Marietta, GA 30066
Collecting through December 9

McCleskey Middle School
4080 Maybreeze Road • Marietta, GA 30066
Collecting through December 14