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News Bulletin - Marine Toys For Tots Foundation
Washington, DC – February 4, 2005 – On January 18, 2005, a news release announced that during the 57th annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign, conducted during October, November and December 2004, U.S. Marines distributed 19 million new toys and brought the joy of Christmas and delivered a message of hope to 7.4 million needy children throughout the nation. (Due to a corrected report submitted by a local coordinator subsequent to the release of the January 18th news bulletin, the correct number of children is 7.5 million.) This made the 2004 Toys for Tots Campaign the most successful in the 57 year history of the program. Over the course of the past 57 years (1947 – 2004), Marines have distributed over 332.5 million toys to 159 million needy children.
During 2004, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation supplemented local Toys for Tots campaigns with 8.2 million toys valued at $41.2 million. The Foundation also provided local campaigns with 41 tons of promotion and support materials valued at $700,000 along with a broad range of other support essential to the success of the 2004 campaign.
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, public charity, was created at the behest of the U.S. Marine Corps. The Foundation has served as the fund raising and support organization for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Tots for Tots Program since Christmas 1991. From 1991 – 2004, the Foundation supplemented the collections of local Toys for Tots campaigns with 55.5 million toys valued at $284 million.
During 2004, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was ranked # 316 in the Chronicle of Philanthropy's "Philanthropy 400". This was the fourth consecutive year that the Foundation has been recognized in the "Philanthropy 400".
One of the key factors that contributed to the success of the 2004 Toys for Tots campaign was the support provided by the 70 National Corporate Sponsors. The 2004 National Corporate Sponsors of Toys for Tots:
Accor North America, ACD Distribution, American Express, Applebee's (Doherty Enterprises), Arizona Tile, Atlanta Capital Management, AWS Convergence Technologies, Baby Einstein, Bandai America, Bank One, Best Buy, Big Lots, BMK LP, Bridgestone/Firestone, Carpet One, Comcast , Contours Express, Coty, Inc., DaimlerChrysler Corp Fund, Discovery Toys , Dollar Tree, ESPN (Cold Pizza Show), E.T. Lilard Estate, First American Cash Advance, Ford Motor Company, Gambit Gameworks, Inc., Good Morning America (ABC), Group Sales, Idea Planet, Interactive Imagination, Jones Soda, K B Toys, Magnetic Poetry, Mantis Development, Marden Susco, Medifast, Inc., MuttsComics, Navy Federal Credit Union, Neopets, Inc., New England Doll & Novelty, Northwest Airlines, Office Depot, Option 1 Mortgage, Par Mar Stores, Pelco , PGI Enterprises, Pioneer Services, Razor & Tie Direct, RREEF, Quantum-Premier Books, Roberts Oxygen, Scholastic, Inc., Scholastic Book Fair, 7-Eleven Stores, Sonoma Pins, Star Foundation, Starbucks, Tesoro Refining & Marketing, The Gymboree Corporation, The Time Group, The Walt Disney Company, Toys "R" Us, Trans World Entertainment, TY Company, UICI Insurance Center, WeatherBug.com, Welch Packaging, Inc., Wells Fargo Financial, West Marine, Wheel of Fortune.
A key factor contributing to the success of the 2004 Toys for Tots toy collection and distribution campaign and the Foundation's public information and education campaign was the outstanding support provided by the 70 national corporate sponsors.
The 2004 National Corporate Sponsors contributed over $33.9 million to the 2004 campaign. This made the Foundation's 2004 fund raising campaign the most successful ever. National Corporate Sponsors of Toys for Tots make donations of a minimum of $25,000. During 2004, 40% of the sponsors conducted cause-marketing promotions and donated royalties therefrom to the Foundation; 29% of the sponsors made cash donations; and 31% donated new GIK toys.
The Foundation's 2004 public information and education campaign, assisted by the energetic and imaginative support of corporate sponsors, played a key role in the overall success of the campaign. Specifically, the visibility Toys for Tots received was the most extensive in history. ABC TV and radio gave Toys for Tots near continuous visibility during November and December. Toys for Tots was mentioned two to three times per week on Good Morning America (GMA). GMA featured Toys for Tots and Toys "R" Us on the November 4th show. ABC radio stations nationwide featured live Toys for Tots interviews during December. The Walt Disney Company CEO, Mr. Michael Eisner, narrated a special "Support Toys for Tots Segment" on "The Wonderful World of Disney" on December 3rd. ESPN's "Cold Pizza" show, an early morning sports talk show, featured a special support Toys for Tot promotion during most of December. "Guard Duty", the premier Toys for Tots public service announcement, was aired nationwide frequently during prime time throughout the first 20 days of December. Navy Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo and First American Cash Advance mailed millions of "Support Toys for Tots" flyers to customers during November and December. This provided extensive visibility for Toys for Tots and resulted in thousands of dollars of unexpected donations. The Foundation's upgraded Toys for Tots website dramatically increased public interest. Website visits during 2004 totaled 25,480,138 (an increase of 10,597,363 over 2003). The Foundation distributed 815,000 promotion posters, 900,000 Toys for Tots information brochures and mailed over 11 million direct mail letters containing information about Toys for Tots.
The extensive ABC TV and radio coverage was a result of initiatives on the part of Toys "R" Us, Good Morning America, ABC and The Walt Disney Company.
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation along with the United States Marine Corps extends a special thanks to the 2004 National Corporate Sponsors of Toys for Tots for their outstanding support. The strong, energetic and imaginative support of the sponsors enabled U.S. Marines to bring the joy of Christmas and deliver a message of hope to 7,543,984 needy children throughout the nation. The efforts of corporate sponsors helped Marines pursue the goal of inspiring youngsters to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders in the years ahead. We hope our corporate sponsors will take pride in the knowledge that they made a difference at Christmas 2004 in communities and the lives of children nationwide.
For further details contact LtGen Matthew T. Cooper, USMC (Ret) or Major Brian A. Murray, USMC (Ret) at (703) 640-9433; by email at or visit the TFT website: www.toysfortots.org.