NEISD schools collecting Toys for Tots Nov. 1-30

 
Throughout the month of November area schools, businesses and youth organizations will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, a nationwide program striving to provide every needy child with a gift at Christmas time.
Donation centers may be found within Reagan High School, Bush and Lopez middle schools and Stone Oak, Canyon Ridge, Hardy Oak and Wilderness Oak elementary schools.
 
Nationwide, Toys for Tots collects between 16 million and 19 million toys each year, which wind up in the hands of roughly 7.6 million children. “It’s come a long way from 1947 when we collected just 5,000 toys,” says Bill Grein, the foundations’ vice president of marketing and development. Col. William L. Hendricks, a Marine reservist, is credited for starting the Toys for Tots Foundation 60 years ago. “Actually it was his wife, truth be told,” says Grein. “There is a woman behind it all.”
 
With the holiday season approaching Diane Hendricks asked her husband to deliver a Raggedy Ann doll she made to an organization that would give it to a needy child for Christmas. When no such agency was found to exist, Diane told Bill to start one. He did and was so successful the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948, expanding it into the nationwide campaign so well known today.
 
“Now we couldn’t stop it even if we tried,” jokes Grein.
 
Still, despite its success, the foundation continues to run out of toys before they run out of children to give them to. Items geared towards teenagers are the most in demand year after year since the majority of toys donated are for children 4 to 10 years of age, says Grein.
 
Following a motto of “local toys for local children,” the foundation ensures children receiving toys reside in the same city in which the items were donated. A financial need is the only criteria needed to receive a toy.