The holidays are a difficult time for families in need. When those families struggle just to put food on the table and clothing on their family’s back, finding money for Christmas presents is very stressful. That’s where San Diego Self Storage (SDSS) steps in. Today, they kicked off their 14th annual Toys for Tots drive.
J. Terry Aston, SDSS managing partner, indicated that they are starting their collection campaign this early so that there will be ample lead time for families to sign up for toys prior to the holiday season. The deadline to sign up is November 5. Families who want to sign up for assistance can go to the Toys for Tots web site to sign up.
The idea for Toys for Tots began in 1947 when the wife of Major Bill Hendricks, USCR, made a doll. She asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization who would give it to a needy child at Christmas. Bill couldn’t find such an organization so she suggested that he start one.
So he did. With the help of a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles, they collected and distributed 5,000 toys that year to needy children. It was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and they have been collecting and giving away toys since then.
Toys for Tots does not provide a list of recommended toys to donate. Instead, they suggest that people consider what might be an appropriate gift for their own child or for a relative. If they know that that child would like a certain gift, chances are very high that other children similar in age would like that gift, too. Those are the gifts, then, that people should donate.
However, they do provide a few ideas for pre-teens because shopping for that age group can be quite difficult. The following items could include (but are not limited to): radio controlled cars, hand-held electronics, skateboards and helmets, sporting equipment, books, cosmetics, purses, watch gift sets, board games, curling irons, and hair dryers. Please do not donate realistic looking weapons. They will not be distributed.
Typically, Toys for Tots are for children up to age 12. However, local communities that have signed up as a campaign site may choose to extend the age limit to 14-16 year olds.
The official Marine kickoff event for toy drive will take place aboard the USS Midway on Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is free with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy. There will be raffles, prizes, and refreshments throughout the day.
SDSS has 17 locations throughout San Diego. All are drop-off locations for Toys for Tots making it easy for people in the community to make a donation.
“San Diego Self Storage Launches Toys for Tots Holiday Drive.” Mini-Storage Messenger; 23 October 2012.