Marines bring name Toys for Tots back to Logan
By Debbie Banks, Assistant Professor of English, SKYCTC

Posted on December 24, 2019 9:33 PM

During the holiday season, it is easy to get caught up in our own shopping lists, finding time to visit all the places we want to go, cooking for all of those we love, and forget that others are not as fortunate as we are at this time of the year. One program that puts a smile on the faces of children by providing families with toys for Christmas is Toys for Tots.

Toys for Tots began in 1947 by United States Marine Corps Reservist Major Bill Hendricks and is still run by the US Marine Corps via and in local communities. The website has information on the program, how to find a local distribution location, the history of the program, and links to either donate or receive toys. Toys for Tots has given away over 566 million toys and served more than 258 million children since its beginning.

The breakdown of how funds are used for this organization include that 96.7 percent of the funds raised goes directly to buying toys for the program, while only 2.8 percent goes to fundraising and .5 percent goes to overhead thanks to the generous communities that offer places to distribute toys and volunteers who spend time helping answer phones, sorting toys, preparing bags for kids and distributing the toys to families. Today Toys for Tots is found in over 800 communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

I have spent several hours sorting toys, answering phones and distributing them in the Warren County area with colleagues from Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College for the last several years and have loved every minute of it. The volunteers are amazing and make the work fun, but the best part is when the families come to pick up toys and it is clear that the kids will have toys to bring smiles for Christmas. The relief and appreciation on the faces of parents who know that their children will have a happy Christmas makes it all worth it. I encourage everyone to volunteer for this or any organization to make Christmas a joy for others.

The Marines have the rights to the name Toys for Tots. That’s why that same name that was used in the Russellville area for decades is now known as Bro. Joe’s Family Christmas.

This year the Marines’ Toys for Tots program was brought back to Logan County and Russellville through the school systems. The toys were distributed with the help of fire departments and local volunteers. There were 180 families served for a total of 350 children. That is a great first year back! That is 350 smiles tomorrow (Christmas) morning that might not have happened without the generosity of people donating toys and volunteering to help get them ready to give out.

Here is to hoping that next year is even bigger and the hope that one day, no child will be forgotten at Christmas!

Happy Holidays and may the new year bring many wishes.

*The information for the article came from


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