Where you can donate “Toys for Tots” in Delaware

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DNREC’s Natural Resources Police team up with U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program

Are you ready to donate to Toys For Tots to the less fortunate children of Delaware? According to it’s website, “Toys for Tots” began in 1947 as the brain child of Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks, Actually it was his wife, Diane, who was the real inspiration. She had crafted a few handcrafted dolls and asked Bill to deliver them to an agency that supports children in need.

Bill Hendrick’s civilian job was Director of Public Relations at Warner Brothers Studios. He was friends with many celebrities who he asked to help support the newly created Marine Toys for Tots Program. As a personal friend and as a favor to Bill, Walt Disney designed the first Toys for Tots poster which included a miniature three-car train that was subsequently adopted as the Toys for Tots logo.

When Bill reported back to his wife that he could not find such an organization, she instructed him to “start one!”. Maj Hendricks and the Marines in his reserve unit in LA collected and distributed 5,000 toys in 1947.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit charity, was established in 1991 at the behest of the Marine Corps to help run and support the Marine Toys for Tots Program.

Seeing such successful community engagement in 1947, the Commandant directed all Marine Reserve Sites to implement a TFT campaign transforming it into a national community action program in 1948.

The Foundation raises funds, purchases toys, provides promotional and support materials, manages all funds raised and donated, solicits corporate support, educates the public, and handles day-to-day operations.

Presently, the Marine Toys for Tots Program distributes an average of 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children annually.

In Delaware, DNREC Natural Resources Police units from Delaware State Parks, the Division of Fish & Wildlife, and the Environmental Crimes Unit within DNREC’s Division of Community Affairs have teamed up with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program to provide toys for children in local communities for the holidays.

Toys will be accepted through Thursday, Dec. 12 at the following drop-off locations:

• All Delaware State Park offices statewide, including the Brandywine Zoo, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• Natural Resources Police office in Sussex County at 23530 Campbell Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• Environmental Crimes Unit offices at 715 Grantham Lane, New Castle, DE 19720, and 97 Commerce Way, Suite 106, Dover, DE 19904, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

• DNREC Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

• Various locations and events throughout the state attended by Natural Resources Police officers.

For more information, or for the dates and locations of upcoming events where toys can be donated, please contact Delaware State Parks Cpl. Andy Manning at andrew.manning@delaware.gov