Toys for Tots Foundation gives to the less fortunate

The University of Indianapolis police department is running a toy drive in conjunction with the Marine Corps’  Toys for Tots Foundation to give back to the less fortunate in the community during the holiday season. This will be the third year the campus police department has participated in the charity drive.

According to the website Toysfortots.org, “The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.”

toys for tots
Graphic by Melvin Mendez

UIndy Police Chief David Selby takes special pride in the program, which gives toys to hundreds of children each year.

“Christmas is a very special time,” Selby said. “[Toys for Tots is] a nice way for our community to give back to those who are less fortunate.”

The Toys for Tots website says that giving to children in need and putting an end to poverty are the essence of the program. Toys for Tots believes that children are one of the world’s most valuable resources, and that children are the future and tomorrow’s leaders and decision-makers.

According to the website, there are about 13 million children who live in poverty in America. Toysfortots.org said studies have shown that if a child grows up in poverty, it may have an adverse psychological
impact on the child. The website said, “One of the adverse impacts is low self-esteem—a by-product of little or no hope for the future.”

Donations of new and unwrapped toys began in October and can be accepted at the university police station or any other donation site through Dec. 17. Monetary donations are also accepted at any donation site.

After Dec. 17, the toys from all the donation sites will be picked up by the Marine Corps or other program affiliates and taken to a donation warehouse. There they will be sorted by age and gender qualities and then distributed to the children of the community.

“Last year, there was a room full of toys,” Selby said. “I would guess it was probably around $3,000 to $5,000 worth of toys. They had to come get them with a truck.”

The UIndy police department hopes to have even more toys for the Marine Corps this year and plans to run the drive for many years to come. According to the Toys for Tots website, “Local campaigns are conducted annually in over 700 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.”

Local businesses can sign up at toysfortots.org to become a toy drop location in the future. People in the community also can sign up online to volunteer for the program. People can sign up online to have their child put on a list to receive a toy on or around Christmas from the foundation.