Northeast Wisconsin answers Last Call for Toys for Tots

Published: Nov. 10, 2017 at 4:18 PM CST
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Yes, Wisconsin, there is a Santa Claus.

On Wednesday, hundreds of gift givers answered the LAST CALL for Toys for Tots, bringing donations so that boys and girls, infant to teen, will find a present under their tree this Christmas.

U.S. Marines also answered the call, coming to greet gift givers at the curb at the WBAY Building in downtown Green Bay and the Home Builders Association Fox Cities in Appleton. They were always smiling in spite of sub-zero wind chills as they carried out a mission started by a Marine reservist in 1947.

WBAY-TV is proud to again help the US Marine Corps carry on a decades-long tradition.

It was possibly the biggest response to Toys for Tots in at least 30 years, covering the floor and tables in the WBAY-TV lobby, with some overflow in the auditorium.


Thank you to the hundreds of businesses that have been accepting donations for Toys for Tots for the past month.

And THANK YOU to the countless gift givers who are bringing a smile to children's faces on Christmas Day and creating memories.




Only two drop-off sites. U.S. Marines will accept your donations curbside at:

WBAY-TV building, 115 S. Jefferson St., in downtown Green Bay, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Home Builders Association Fox Cities, 920 W. Association Dr., in Appleton, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Each year the holidays are made brighter for children in our communities, with the support of volunteers and the generosity of thousands in Northeast Wisconsin.

The toys donated are distributed to children throughout Northeast Wisconsin…not just a gift under the tree…but a message of hope…motivation to grow into responsible citizens and community leaders. Now, more than ever the Toys for Tots program needs your support. Together, we can make a difference in the life of a child.
WBAY-TV 2, Home Builders Association of the Fox Cities and the Salvation Army are proud to support the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
How Toys for Tots began
In 1947, the wife of a U.S. Marine Corps reservist handcrafted a doll and asked her husband to take it to an organization that would give it to a needy child for Christmas. Major (later Colonel) Bill Hendricks couldn’t find one, so at his wife’s urging and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles started one. It was so successful, the Marine Corps adopted it in 1948 and it spread to Marine Corps Reserve units nationwide and received publicity from Hollywood celebrities (it didn’t hurt that Hendricks’s weekday job was head of Public Relations for Warner Brothers Studio).
In 1948, animator Walt Disney designed the Toys for Tots logo still in use today.
Starting in 1980, Toys for Tots began accepting only new toys. Three things precipitated this move: 1) Changes in defense that required more training for Marine Reservists, so they had less time to refurbish used toys; 2) Growing public awareness of safety and health issues with older toys; 3) A feeling that giving hand-me-down toys didn’t give underprivileged children the message Marines wanted to send them on Christmas Day.
In 1991, acting on U.S. Secretary of Defense authorization, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was created to be the fund-raising and support arm of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
In 1995, the Secretary of Defense declared toys for Tots an official activity of the Marine Corps and official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve.
Toys for Tots has been named Readers Digest’s “Best Children’s Charity”; met all 20 standards for the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance; and for years has received Charity Navigator’s highest rating, four stars, for its sound fiscal management.
Source: Toys for Tots Foundation

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