Most children look forward for weeks or even months to the holiday season filled with fun, laughter, family, and gifts. However, there are many children and families who go without each year and will do so again this year. Due to this, there are businesses, churches, and individuals across the nation that will do whatever they can to help ensure that every child gets something special for Christmas. The Lansing campus of Ross Medical Education Center decided that this year they wanted to join in the giving.
The staff, faculty, and students in Lansing chose to team up with Toys for Tots this holiday season. As one of the programs that helps to alleviate the financial pressure of the holidays, the program focuses primarily on providing gifts for underprivileged children. Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. The program was founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks. Bill Hendricks’ wife, Diane, was having trouble finding a place to donate a doll to a needy child and that is how it all began. Shocked at the lack of organization to donate toys to for children, Bill rallied up his troops and Toys for Tots was born.
Since then, the program has increased and grown exponentially. In fact, the program was such a huge success in 2009, that they began to receive support from First Lady Michelle Obama. That same year she decided to place the first collection box at the White House. Then again, in December 2011, she took part in a Toys for Tots activity at Joint Base. As of 2013, the Toys for Tots Program and Foundation has collected and distributed more than 469 million toys. Lansing Assistant Campus Director of Education, Sarah Riegler, shared about the experience, “our students are proud to contribute to the growing number and support our local community.” This organization is one that the campus looks forward to partnering with in the future.