Partners is proud to support our Sponsor, The Walt Disney Company, in our 75-year meaningful relationship with the Marine Toys for Tots program.
This year, Partners in California, Florida and remotely across the United States donated by dropping off a toy, offering a cash donation, and volunteering time to help unpack, sort, and distribute thousands of toys.
“This year was a big one as we celebrated 75 years of working with Toys for Tots to help bring toys to millions of children in need,” said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, Director of External Affairs at Walt Disney World Resort. “At our resort alone, cast and guests alike donated more than 40,000 toys to help bring the joy of the holiday season to local children and families in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.”
The Florida Partners team collected 146 toys and other gift items at four branch locations: I-Drive (branch and breakroom), Disney’s Hollywood Studio express branch, the Lake Buena Vista branch, and the Disney University branch.
In California, Partners collected 111 presents at the Team Disney Anaheim, Katella, Downtown Anaheim, and Studio branches.
“It is exciting to see Partners put value into something this special.” said one California Partners Cast Member.
For 75 years, Disney has supported Toys for Tots to bring toys to millions of children in need during the holiday season. The tradition continues with the Disney Ultimate Toy Drive, running this year through December 24th.
According to the Toys for Tots website, Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks and his wife, Diane, started Toys for Tots in 1947. Diane handcrafted a few dolls and asked Bill to deliver them to an agency that supports children in need. 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 Los Angeles, California, collected and distributed 5,000 toys in 1947.
Seeing such successful community engagement in 1947, the Commandant directed all Marine Reserve Sites to implement a Toys for Tots campaign transforming it into a national community action program in 1948.
Bill Hendrick’s civilian job (while not serving as a Reserve officers) was Director of Public Relations at Warner Brothers Studios. 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 and is still in use 75 years later.
Since 1947, Toys for Tots Marines and volunteers have distributed 627 million toys to over 281 million children.
Partners Supports Toys for Tots
Partners is excited to support this great cause and are making it easy for our Members and cast members to give back and sprinkle a bit of magic of their own. Stop by the branches highlighted in this blog by December 5th to donate a toy. You can also donate directly on shopdisney.com until December 24, 2022.
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