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Toys for Tots: A Giving History

Toys for Tots Toy Drive | Georgia Dermatology Center

Georgia Dermatology Center enjoys supporting this non-profit each year by collecting new toys from October to December.

Toys for Tots is a charity that gives toys to local children in need. It continually ranks as one of the top charities with 97% of donations going to the mission. Established in 1947, the program has grown to one of the most successful charities today. It did not take long for it to expand and gain recognition. Major Bill Hendricks of the Marine Corps. Reserves started the program in Los Angeles, CA, and by the next year, the Marine Corps. adopted the program, expanded across America, and Walt Disney designed the train logo. Within another year celebrities were endorsing the charity, which continues today.

A handmade doll was the first toy given to the program, and by the 1970s over 6 million toys were collected. Until 1980, the marines reserve units would refurbish old toys on their duty weekend, but starting in 1980 only new toys were accepted, and the giving continued to grow. The 1990s saw growth from 7.9 million toys donated to 13.7 million in 1999. There have been several dips in the collection in the 2000s but collections still ranged from 13.2 million to a record 19.2 in 2006. Even in years that saw a decrease in toy numbers, monetary donations remained steady, and in 2014, the total revenue collected reached $284 million.

Toys for Tots typically gives toys to local children in need, but there have been several exceptions since the program began. On three occasions donations have been sent internationally: in 1959, the program sent donations to Nagoya, Japan following a devastating typhoon; donations were sent after the 1988 Panama invasion; and in 1989, toys were sent the Caribbean following Hurricane Hugo. Devastating circumstances at home have also redirected donations: in 1992, 2.5 million toys were sent to victims of Hurricane Andrew and in 1993 to victims of the Mississippi flooding.

With the exponential growth of the program, many businesses now collect toys to make giving more convenient. Every year Georgia Dermatology Center participates in the toy drive. With its well-situated location in Cumming, GA, Georgia Dermatology Center serves Atlanta and North Georgia offering a variety of medical and cosmetic services with comfortable in house procedures. Dr. Alexander Gross is certified in both dermatology and internal medicine and provides a comprehensive approach when treating patients. Georgia Dermatology Center is actively involved in the community. Not only does our office collect toys from October to December every year, but we also host an annual poster contest in Forsyth County schools to raise awareness for skin cancer and sponsor charity walks. Stop by our office or call (770) 781-5077 for more information concerning our services or community involvement.

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