Honorary Santa's Helper

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Text on Button Honorary Santa's Helper Toys For Tots
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Green elf illustration with red text on white background.

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The Toys for Tots program was started by Marine Corps Reserve member Bill Hendricks. His effort was inspired by his wife, Diane, who handcrafted dolls in her spare time. She instructed Bill to donate her dolls to an organization that would give them to children in need. After the couple was unsatisfied with finding no such group in their area, they created their own. Enlisting his peers to help, the first Toys for Tots drive in 1947 in Los Angeles was a hit.

After seeing the positive impact and goodwill gathered from the community, the Marines made the program national. Bill Hendricks as a director of public relations for Warner, had celebrity friends and connections with the Disney Company. He enlisted their help in creating posters and spreading the word. Toys for Tots today continues the work started in 1947, and raises funds and collects toys for children in need. Donations tend to rack up near Christmas time when the organization helps struggling families in need by providing gifts.


Marine Toys for Tots. (n.d.). Origin and Evolution of Toys for Tots Program. https://www.toysfortots.org/about_toys_for_tots/toys_for_tots_program/t…

Catalog ID EV0849