The Hope Center

Providing a Beacon of Hope

                      "TOYS FOR TOTS"

   2016 Toys for Tots Sign Up

Sign up for the 2016 Toys for Tots program will be at the Hope Center each Wednesday in November at 9 am at the Hope Center. There will also be a sign up at the next “Feed the Family” on Saturday November 19th at 9 a.m.


Toys for Tots are for children ages birth to 13 and we will help up to 16 if there is a younger sibling. If you are part of another toy program you are not eligible for Toys for Tots.


Last year our local Toys for Tots program was able to help over 1,700 children, especially several children that had parents incarcerated.  


To find out more about Toys for Tots go to or  


If you would like to make a donation of a toy or a monetary donation they can be dropped off at the Hope Center located at 23 West Cherry in Albion.

 Pictured are Kim lingafelter and her helper Dessa.


Marine Toys for Tots Foundation


Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity is the fundraising, funding and support organization for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation was created at the behest of the U. S. Marine Corps and provides support in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, who directs the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation has supported Toys for Tots since 1991.



Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is governed by a board of directors, all of whom are successful business leaders from throughout the nation. All directors served as U. S. Marines. The Foundation’s professional staff is headquartered in the Cooper Center, which is located just outside the main gate of Marine Corps Base, Quantico, about 35 miles south of Washington, DC.



Over the years the Foundation supplemented local campaigns with tens of millions of toys valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. Additionally, the Foundation provides approximately one million dollars worth of promotional and support materials to local campaigns each year.



The mission of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is to assist the U. S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas. This assistance includes supporting the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program by raising funds to provide toys to supplement the collections of local Toys for Tots campaigns, to provide promotional and support material and defray the costs of conducting annual Toys for Tots campaigns. Other Foundation support includes providing administrative, advisory, financial, logistic and promotional support to local Toys for Tots Coordinators; managing funds raised and monies donated based on the use of Toys for Tots name or logo; providing other support the Marine Corps, as a federal agency, cannot provide; and conducting public education and information programs about Toys for Tots that call the general public to action in support of this patriotic community action program.



The primary goal of the Foundation is the same as that of the overall Toys for Tots Program: i.e. – to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them into becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.



The objectives of the Foundation are the same as those of the overall Toys for Tots program: i.e. – to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; an to contribute to improving communities in the future.



The Foundation engages in two categories of activities: Program Services and Support Services.


Program Services


Toy Distribution 

This is the process of obtaining and delivering toys to local Toys for Tots Coordinators and providing the support and assistance those Coordinators need to conduct effective toy collection and distribution campaigns in their communities. Toys are a combination of those purchased by the Foundation and those donated by corporations.


Support of Local Coordinators

This involves arranging the creation, publication, manufacture and delivery of an array of promotion and support materials to local Coordinators. It includes managing all financial matters for local Coordinators as well as updating and publishing a manual for the conduct of local programs. Concisely stated, this activity encompasses providing a wide range of support to approximately 700 local Toys for Tots Coordinators and their support groups. Today, there are nearly 25,000 Marines, Marine Corps League members, veteran Marines and volunteers involved in annual campaigns.



The Foundation conducts an annual public information and education campaign. This activity is designed to give the general public a clear understanding of the benefits that accrue to individuals, communities and the nation from Toys for Tots. It increases visibility and name recognition, and calls the general public support of Toys for Tots. The campaign includes distributing a series of news releases, distributing TV and radio public service announcements, publishing newsletters arranging media events and appearances, arranging for national corporations to incorporate information about Toys for Tots into their paid advertisements, conducting special events, maintaining a website and distributing educational material about Toys for Tots to the general public.


Support Services


Management and General Activities

This involves accomplishing the spectrum of business management activities necessary to make an organization efficient and effective and to ensure the program and the Foundation operate in compliance with IRS regulations, federal and state laws and charitable standards.



The Foundation pursues a range of fundraising projects each year. Projects include national corporate sponsors, a direct mail campaign, the Combined Federal Campaign, special events such as golf tournaments; and special projects such as “in memory of/in honor of” donations and internet donations.

How Toys for Tots Works

The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is directed by the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, with the assistance of his staff, from the Marine Forces Reserve Headquarters in New Orleans, Louisiana.


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 163 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. Over the years, Marines have established close working relationships with social welfare agencies, churches and other local community agencies which are well qualified to identify the needy children in the community and play important roles in the distribution of the toys.


While Toys for Tots Coordinators organize, coordinate and manage the campaign, the ultimate success depends on the support of the local community and the generosity of the people who donate toys.


Local business leaders play key roles. They allow Coordinators to locate drop-off/collection boxes in their stores; provide free warehouse space for storing and sorting toys during October, November and December; provide vehicles to collect toys from drop-off sites; sponsor toy raising events; and help Coordinators arrange media exposure for Toys for Tots in the local community.


National corporations support Toys for Tots by establishing affiliations with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. These corporations make donations to the Foundation or conduct cause marketing initiatives from which they share royalties with the Foundation. In almost every instance, the marketing initiatives of these corporations give significant added visibility and name recognition to Toys for Tots. Such visibility enhances the campaign at the national and local levels. The funds emanating from these affiliations enable the Foundation to purchase toys to supplement local collections; purchase promotion and support materials and defray the costs of annual Toys for Tots campaigns.


Elements of Toys for Tots

·       United States Marine Corps

·       Marine Forces Reserve*

·       Marine Toys for Tots Foundation

·       Marine Corps League Detachments**

Local Community Organizations***

Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots Local Coordinator: Steve Smith 

Toys for Tots Local Information

Southeastern Illinois Toys for Tots host is the Hope Center. The Hope Center is located at 23 West Cherry in Albion.


Volunteers are needed for the Edwards, Wabash, Wayne and White County areas. Any Toys for Tots boxes that collect Toys will stay in that county even if it's in a neighboring county.


If you or an organization is interested in becoming a toy drop off site or want to donate please contact Steve Smith at (618)445-2065.


Sign up for Toys for Tots will be at 9:00 a.m. every Wednesday in the month of November and at the November "Feed the Family" at the Hope Center. .


Toy pick up will be December 11, 2016 at 2 pm. at the Exhibition Building in Albion.


  Dollar General Stores are our number one Toys for Tots partner to help more kids have a better Christmas. Thank you to the Dollar General Stores for stepping up!


Did you know that Toys for Tots is a top rated charity?

97% of your donation goes to our mission of providing toys, books and other gifts to less fortunate children. The 3% spent on support principally covers fundraising expenses – not one donated dollar goes to pay for salaries or any other manpower costs.