Supporting Toys for Tots


Fallon’s Furniture on Daniel Webster in Merrimack is a drop off for Toys for Tots donations.

The Christmas season is upon us and for many this is a busy, and often chaotic, time of year. Though many look forward to the holidays, there are a great number of children and families that simply do not have the resources to make it special. Instead, the holidays are stressful for those already in need, and serve as a stark reminder of the degree of their hardships.

You can change that though.

Many of us find it hard to think at length about children in need of anything – food, housing, clothing, books, and toys – because it is depressing and a lot of people just do not know specifically how they can make it better. The good news is that there is much the average person can do to help bring joy to the lives of kids in need. Today I am focusing on one organization in particular: Toys for Tots.

Toys for Tots was founded in 1947 in California. The following year, the United States Marine Corps took over the organization and expanded its reach by turning it into a nationwide campaign that operated out of Reserve Centers. It was, and still is, a community driven collection and distribution effort aimed at helping children. Currently, Philanthropy 400 considers Toys for Tots a top-tier charity. In the past couple of years alone, the organization has continued to set new records for itself with regard to donations, and children helped through its activities.

In 2015, Toys for Tots reported in their Annual Report that the organization served 7 million children and distributed approximately 18 million toys. Local campaigns spanned 782 communities throughout all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and Puerto Rico. However, due to the vast need for toys, the organization spent more than it planned to help those in need: 10 million dollars more, to be exact.

Fortunately, through continued donations and assistance from anyone willing to help, Toys for Tots keeps collecting and distributing toys to kids, but they need our help to keep up with the increasing numbers of children in need of this assistance. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Donate money to the cause, and encourage others to donate as well, by clicking on the organization’s donation page located here. This is the easiest thing you can possibly do because you do not have to purchase a toy and drop it off at a local drop location.
  2. Donate toys by identifying local campaigns. Click here to find the local campaigns closest to you.
  3. Host a local Toys for Tots event through a local campaign.
  4. Use social media and other resources to spread the word and encourage those you know to help if possible.

If you live in the Southern New Hampshire region you may drop off toys any day of the week at the Bedford Police Department, located at 55 Constitution Drive in Bedford, NH. A search of the local campaigns in the above link provides information on additional drop off locations.

Money is tight for many of us around the holidays, but Toys for Tots offers a wonderful opportunity to help children in a way that brings them hope and joy. You can make a difference in the simplest of ways and you may contribute to this cause to the extent possible, given your budget. Every donation makes a difference and so I hope you will consider supporting Toys for Tots, and other charitable organizations, this holiday season.