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First Lady Melania Trump joined Marines at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Southwest Washington D.C. for their annual Toys for Tots drive in early December 2020. “It is more important than ever ‘for all of us to remember to be kind’ with the holiday season approaching amid the coronavirus pandemic,'” explains Trump.
This year marks the fourth year the first last participated in the Toys for Tots. Trump expressed gratitude toward the service members by extending compliments for bringing the children together to teach them the holiday season is only about receiving presents. Trump said, “It’s about kindness and giving back to your community and to the less fortunate.”
Reports indicate Trump donated books and soccer balls to the Toys for Tots drive. Trump read to the children and helped to hand out toys.
The annual program, Toys for Tots, began in 1947 when Diane Hendricks asked her husband, Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks, to deliver some handmade toys to an agency that supported children in need. After telling her there were no agencies around to take her donation, she encouraged him to start one.
Maj. Hendricks and his Marine Reserve unit members in Los Angeles, California, collected and donated 5,000 toys that year. After seeing the Los Angeles campaign’s success, the Commandant directed all Marine Reserve Sites to implement a Toys for Tots campaign making it a national community action program the following year.
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.
Today, the Marine Toys for Tots Program distributes an average of 18 million toys to seven million less fortunate children annually.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Hill: Melania Trump addresses Toys for Tots: ‘Remember to be kind’ by Judy Kurtz
Toy for Tots Foundation: Since 1947 The Marine Corps and Toys for Tots Has Been Making a Difference in the Lives of American Families
All Images by Andrea Hanks Courtesy of The White House’s Flickr Page – Public Domain License
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