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Georgia Kicks-Off 2005 Toys for Tots Season

Tuesday, November 1, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue and First Lady Mary Perdue joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves (USMCR) to kick off the 2005 Toys for Tots season today at the State Capitol.

“I want to urge every Georgian who can do so to participate in the Toys for Tots program by donating new, unwrapped toys at any of the locations where the Marine Reserves will be gathering toys during the holiday season,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “We’ll be doing our part here at the State Capitol by setting up a toy collection site in my office. Please help these Marines brighten the Christmas season for as many children as possible.”

Toys for Tots sponsors include Publix Super Markets, Fox 5 Atlanta, Pepsi, the Atlanta Falcons and Toys “R” Us. Last year, the Toys for Tots program collected 370,000 toys. Toys for Tots, in conjunction with Toys “R” Us stores across the state of Georgia, will conduct an additional campaign to raise toys for the children of Hurricane Katrina victims.

Toys for Tots began in 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. The success of the 1947 campaign led the Marine Corps to adopt Toys for Tots in 1948 and expand the program nationwide. The initial objective remains the hallmark of the program today – bring the joy of Christmas to America’s needy children.

In the late 1980’s, the Marine Corps determined that a non-profit foundation was needed as an integral part of the national Toys for Tots program. Based on this need, the Secretary of Defense, in August 1991, authorized the Marine Corps to recognize and work with a charity committed to supporting Toys for Tots. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation became an operational organization in September 1991 and serves as the fund raising and support organization for the USMCR Toys for Tots Program.