Introduction and History:
Toys for Tots' initial objective, which remains the hallmark of the program today, is to 'bring the joy of Christmas to needy children'. Its goal is to deliver a message of hope that will build self-esteem and motivate children to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.
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 program was so successful, it was expanded nationwide wherever a Marine Corps Reserve Unit the following year.
In 1993, the Peel Regional Police Service initiated the endeavour in Canada; The Halton Regional Police Service began its own Toys for Tots program in 2000.
Each year, off-duty uniform and civilian employees of the Halton Regional Police Service, local businesses, schools and sports organizations give their time, talents and resources in support of the initiative's continued success.
In 2012, the Halton Regional Police Service Toys for Tots program raised more than $284,000 in toys, gift cards, cash and food for 3,700 local families in need - 200 more than the year before.
2012 Kick-Off Event:
The 2012 Toys for Tots kick-off event was held on Friday, November 23 at 10:00 a.m. at Canadian Tire (1100 Kerr Street, Oakville). Senior police officials and local dignitaries were joined by Mark Oldershaw who got this year’s campaign off to a winning start. Oldershaw - a Burlington resident and third generation Olympian - paddled his way to a bronze medal in the men’s 1000M canoe event in London this past summer. All were welcome to attend.
In an effort to exceed last year's record fundraising total, organizers of this year's campaign challenged you to take Toys for Tots to your school, workplace, neighbourhood or organization.
Make Toys for Tots your charity this holiday season. Getting involved was as easy as collecting new, unwrapped toys, cash, gift cards for teens or Canadian Tire money. A member from the Toys for Toys team was happy to pick-up your group's donation for you.
Last year, members of the Burlington Lions Optimist Minor Hockey Association (BLOMHA) and Minor Oaks Hockey Association (MOHA-Oakville) raised more than $85,000.
Members of the public were invited to make their donation of new, unwrapped toys, Canadian Tire money and/or cash at any Canadian Tire location or police station in Halton Region between Friday, November 23 and Sunday, December 16.
Click here for a complete list of Toys for Tots drop-off locations. For a list of gift ideas for children/teens aged 10-16, click here.
The Salvation Army then identified local families experiencing difficulty and distributed toys purchased and/or collected from each location directly to them.
For more information, contact the Toys for Tots hotline at 905-825-4747 ext. 4TOT (4868).
Information can also be obtained via e-mail to: