'Toys for Tots' Collecting Toys at Grosse Pointe Santa Parade on Friday

Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade on Friday, Nov. 24 or drop one off at local collection sites.

The holidays are made a little brighter for needy children in southeast Michigan when a new toy is delivered by Toys for Tots--that is the mission of the United States Marine Corps Reserve's program said Staff Sergeant Robert Stoddard, this year's Marine Coordinator.

Stoddard is assigned to the 1st Battalion 24th Marines at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

"This year the need is even greater than last year.  We're doing our best to help out every needy child," Stoddard said.  Stoddard said more donations are needed, however.

Toys for Tots History

United States Marine Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, founded Toys for Tots program in Los Angeles in 1947 and 5,000 toys were collected during a campaign before Christmas that year.  

The following year, the United States Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots as a national charity and community service project.

Also in 1948, Walt Disney himself designed the Toys for Tots train logo and created the first national Toys for Tots poster.  

More than 50 years later, the Toys for Tots program collects millions of toys for needy children all over the United States and is managed by the Toys for Tots Foundation--a board of eleven directors, all of whom are successful business leaders and have also served as U.S. Marines.

Grosse Pointe Partners with Marine Toys for Tots Program

To meet that mission, the Friends of the Grosse Pointe Parade has supported the Toys for Toys program for the past three years with their Toys for Tots kick-off event, parade float and toy collection drive.

Jon Randall and Chris Walsh, parade sponsors, said the lobby of their Morgan Stanley office has more than 300 toys waiting to be picked up after Friday's Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade.

Randall said that over 100 toys and $600 in donations were donated at the Friends of the Grosse Pointe Parade's kick-off event and float unveiling at Pier Pointe Park earlier this month.

"Our goal was to be able to get more drop off locations this year in Grosse Pointe and create a bigger buzz about the program and the parade," Randall continued.

How to Donate

This year, Grosse Pointe residents can take a new, unwrapped toy to the Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade at 10:00 a.m. on Nov. 23 and Marines will take the donations as they escort the Toys for Tots Parade Sleigh.  Donations can also be made online here--not one donated dollar is used for manpower costs boasts the charity's website.

Donation boxes will also remain at the following businesses after the parade for later pick up during the holiday season:

Ace Hardware in the Village

Bella Café on the Hill

Belle Tire on Mack

Caribou Coffee in the Village

City of Grosse Pointe Offices

Grosse Pointe Public Safety Office

Morgan Stanley lobby

Northern Trust lobby

Notre Dame Pharmacy

Starbucks in the Village

Trader Joes in the Village

Village Toy Company


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