ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Started by the U.S. Marine Corps, the Toys for Tots campaign works to ensure no child goes without the joy of unwrapping a gift under the Christmas tree. The campaign is back this year and is in need of the community’s help.
Maj. Mike Schroeder and Toys for Tots Assistant Coordinator Paul Caputo discuss how you can help out local children in need. The mission of Toys for Tots is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year and to distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children within the community. Toys for Tots strives to assist children up to the age of 12.
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Toys for Tots was founded by USMCR Major Bill Hendricks and his wife Diane in Los Angeles in 1947 where 5,000 toys were collected during a campaign before Christmas.
The campaign grew into a national community action program in 1948 and by 1991, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation nonprofit was established in 1991 to support the Toys for Tots program. Currently, the program distributes an average of 18 million toys to seven million children annually.
Caputo explains that this year, the local program is 30% to 40% down in its needs. The community can help by dropping off a new unwrapped toy at one of the various Toys for Tots collection boxes that are located around the city, or by visiting the Toys for Tots website and making a monetary donation at any time.
Caputo says that every Pizza 9, T-Mobile, and firehouse location in the Albuquerque metro area has a collection box with additional boxes located at various businesses. Monetary donations enable the program to make large purchases of toys that will supplement donations made at collection boxes.
KRQE News 13 Phone Bank
On Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, KRQE News 13 will host a phone bank to raise funds for Toys for Tots from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A phone number for the phone bank will be made available later Tuesday and will also be available on the homepage on KRQE.com.
For more information on the Toys for Tots campaign, visit albuquerque-nm.toysfortots.org.