collecting toys, we really have it made. We can eat our cake and
have it too - we're reliving the joy of our childhoods through our
collecting habits of our old age. But there are lots of children out
there who don't have the kind of childhood we had - or the kind of
childhood we wish we'd had. These children are less fortunate than
we were, or at least most certainly less fortunate than we are now.
1947, a woman named Diane Hicks had made a Raggedy Ann doll as a craft
project, and decided that it should go to a less fortunate child at
Christmas time. She asked her husband, Bill Hendricks, a major in
the Marine Corp Reserves in Los Angeles, to find an agency that could
deliver this toy appropriately. When he found that none existed, she
suggested that he start one. That first year, he collected and
distributed 5000 toys to needy children. And thus was born Toys for
The program was so
successful that in 1948, the Marine Corp adopted it and turned it
nationwide. It's been delivering on it's goal to bring the joy of
Christmas to America's needy children ever since.
In 1999, Toys for Tots surpassed all
previous records, delivering almost 14 million toys to nearly 6 million
children in the United States. I'm proud to say that I've helped in
those numbers for the past few years, and I'd like you to consider giving
back some of your love of toys to children that might not ever realize
just how wonderful it can be.
Each year for the past four years, the toy
collecting organization I co-founded here in Michigan, ATOM (Action Toy
Organization of Michigan), has had a club drive to collect toys for
someone other than ourselves. Each year we've donated more than the
last, and I'm proud to be part of a such a considerate and giving group.
|This year, we are
teaming up with our sister organization, the MSWCC (Michigan Star Wars
Collectors Club) to do a joint venture. I expect even larger numbers
than in previous years, and it's wonderful to realize what good we are
So here's your call to arms. You
collect toys because of the love you developed for those silly playthings
of your youth. By giving new, unopened toys to your local Toys for
Tots campaigns, you can give other children the chance to develop that
same bond, to have that special friend in Pooh or Tigger, or to learn just
how much fun they can have with a couple G.I. Joes and an empty lot.
When you see those toys on clearance,
think about it. Is it really all that much to spend a little on
bringing the joy to a child on Christmas morning? I'd think most of
us would agree that helping kids is the greatest work we can do.
To get further information on the program,
and contact information for local co-ordinators, check the official web
site at http://www.toysfortots.org.
There will be drop off bins at many of your local stores, including Toys R
Us again this year. Do what you can, even if it's only a little -
every bit helps.
And that's it for this week's sermonizing!