The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity, is the authorized fundraising and support organization for the Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation provides the funding and support needed for successful annual toy collection and distribution campaigns. The Foundation staff is headquartered in the Cooper Center located just outside the main gate of Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia, about 35 miles south of Washington, DC.
Local campaigns are conducted annually in over 700 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Commander, Marine Forces Reserve has under his command 153 Reserve Units located in 47 states. To cover all 50 states and more communities in each state, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation selects Marine Corps League Detachments and Local Community Organizations (generally veteran Marines) located in communities without a Marine Reserve Center, to conduct Toys for Tots campaigns as part of the overall U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
One individual, either a Marine, member of a Marine Corps League Detachment, or member of a local community organization, is designated the Toys for Tots Coordinator for that community. The Coordinator is responsible for planning, organizing and conducting the campaign in his/her community.
Local toy collection campaigns begin in October and last until mid to late December. Toy distribution also takes place mid to late December. Members of the community drop new, unwrapped toys in collection boxes positioned in local businesses. Coordinators pick up these toys and store them in central warehouses where the toys are sorted by age and gender. At Christmas, Coordinators, with the assistance of local social welfare agencies, church groups, and other local community agencies, distribute the toys to the less fortunate children of the community.