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Toys for Tots Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Toys for Tots worldwide was founded by the U.S. Marine Corps in California in 1947 to help address the tough times associated with the post war chaos of Europe and elsewhere around the globe.

It has since grown to a worldwide charitable activity, including programs in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Puerto Vallarta.

Toys are collected from various sources and donations, and distributed to needy kids on Three Kings Day.

Celebrated annually in January, Three Kings Day is a celebration that commemorates the Biblical story of the three kings who followed the star of Bethlehem to bring gifts to the Christ child. According to the story, the Three Kings – Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar – presented the Baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Traditionally in Mexico, Three Kings Day is gift-giving time, rather than Christmas day.

Over the last twelve years, Toys For Tots Vallarta has distributed more than 100,000 toys and installed playgrounds in areas of need.

Thanks to the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort, the Puerto Vallarta Navy League and sponsors like ATM Rivercity who, for the second year in a row, donated 50,000 pesos to this cause, Toys For Tots Vallarta will once again make the dreams of many local children come true.


To learn how you can help Toys for Tots deliver smiles to thousands of poor children around Banderas Bay.

Origin and Evolution of Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots Began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks, USCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. The idea came form Bill's wife, Diane. In the fall of 1947, Diane crafted a homemade doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to a needy child at Christmas.  When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one. He did.

The 1947 pilot project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign. That year, Marine Corps Reserve units across the nation conducted Toys for Tots campaigns in each community in which a Marine Reserve Center was located.

Marines have conducted successful nationwide campaigns at Christmas each year since 1948.  The initial objective that remains the hallmark of the program today is to "bring the joy of Christmas to needy children."

Bill Hendricks, a Marine Reservist on weekends, was in civilian life, the Director of Public Relations for Warner Brothers Studio.  This enabled him to convince a vast array of celebrities to support Toys for Tots.  In 1948, Walt Disney designed the Toys for Tots logo, which we use today.  Disney also designed the first Toys for Tots poster used to promote the nationwide program.

Nat "King" Cole, Peggy Lee and Vic Damone recorded the Toys for Tots theme composed by Sammy Fain and Paul Webster in 1956.  Bob Hope, John Wayne, Doris Day, Lorrie Morgan, Tim Allen, Kenny Rogers and Billy Ray Cyrus are but a few of the long list of celebrities who have given their time and talent to promote Toys for Tots. First Lady Nancy Reagan served as the national Spokesperson in 1983. First Lady Barbara Bush served as the national Spokesperson in 1992 and in her autobiography named Toys for Tots as one of her favorite charities.

From 1947 through 1979, Marines collected and distributed new and used toys. On Reserve drill weekends during October, November and December, Reserve Marines refurbished the used toys.

From Christmas 1980 through the present, Marines have collected and distributed only new toys. Three factors dictated this change.

First, the Secretary of Defense's Total Force Program, introduced in the 1970's, assigned Reserves a greater role in America's defense posture. As a consequence, Reservists had to dedicate every minute of weekend drill time to honing and polishing combat skills. No time was available to refurbish toys.

Second, public awareness of the health and safety aspects of toys that developed during the '70s made distribution of used toys legally inadvisable.

Third, distributing "hand me down" toys does not send the message Marines want to send to needy children. The goal is to deliver a message of hope, which will assist in building self-esteem and, in turn, motivate less fortunate children to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders. A shiny new toy is the best means of accomplishing this goal.

In the late 1980's, the Marine Corps determined that a non-profit charity was needed as an integral part of the overall 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. Based on this approval, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation became an operational organization in September, 1991, and has been the fundraising and support organization for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program since that date.

The Foundation was able to satisfy the five needs identified by the Marine Corps.  First, the Foundation could provide toys to supplement the collections of local units that had fewer Marines due to military cutbacks of the '80s and '90s.  Second, the Foundation could arrange and pay for the creation, publication, manufacture and distribution of promotion and support materials to Toys for Tots Coordinators. Third, the Foundation could enable individual and corporate donors to Toys for Tots to take a charitable deduction on their income tax returns. Fourth, the Foundation could enter into contracts with corporations to conduct promotions, which would produce royalties for Toys for Tots. (Needs three and four were two important elements of this charitable endeavor that the Marine Corps, as a federal agency, could not fulfill).  Fifth, the Foundation could ensure that the Toys for Tots program operates in compliance with IRS regulations, state laws and regulations and charitable standards.

In 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved Toys for Tots as an official activity of the U. S. Marine Corps and an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve.

In 1996, the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve expanded Toys for Tots to cover all 50 states by authorizing selected Marine Corps League Detachments and selected local community organizations (generally veteran Marine), located in communities without a Marine Reserve Center, to conduct toy collection and distribution campaigns in their communities as part of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

In 1999, the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve delegated authority to the President, Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to approve and manage local Toys for Tots campaigns conducted in communities without a Reserve Unit.

2001: Despite the trauma the nation experienced as a result of the September 11th attacks in New York City, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania, the economic downturn and the anthrax scare, the 2001 U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign was the second best in the previous 54 year history of the program.  Local campaigns were conducted in 388 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  This was the most extensive coverage to date.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary as the fundraising and support organization for Toys for Tots in 2001.  The highlights of the year were that the Foundation had its most successful campaign to date plus was ranked #289 in the 2001 "Philanthropy 400".  This was the first time the Foundation earned a ranking in the "Philanthropy 400".

In 2002, Charity Navigator awarded the Foundation a 4-star rating and the Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked the Foundation #267 in the "Philanthropy 400".

In 2003, the DMA Nonprofit Federation named the Foundation the "Outstanding Nonprofit Organization of the Year" for 2003.  The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked the Foundation #341 in the "Philanthropy 400". Starburst ranked the Foundation website #9 of the "Top 100 Toy Websites".  Reader's Digest, in the November 2003 edition, named Marine Toys for Tots Foundation "America's Best Children's Charity". In December 2003 edition, Forbes included Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in its "Gold Star List" of charities.

From 2004 to the present, the Foundation has continued to receive, on an annual basis, the accolades noted above.

Over the years of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, Marines have distributed more than 400 million toys to more than 188 million needy children.  This charitable endeavor has made Marines the unchallenged leader in looking after less fortunate children at Christmas. Over its life span, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has supplemented local toy collections with more than 81.3 million toys valued at more than $487 million; plus has provided promotion and support materials valued at over $6.3 million.

Last updated: July 31, 2017 · Charity ID: 507

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Navy League Announces Upcoming Toys for Tots Fundraisers

Navy League

Over the past 21 years, the local Toys for Tots program has distributed more than 175,000 toys (and smiles!) to some of the neediest kids throughout the Bahia.

5th Annual Taste of Nuevo Vallarta & 17th Annual Chili Cook-off

Vallarta Yacht Club

Last year, over 500 people attended to taste the wonderful sample dishes provided by the participating restaurants and also tasting fantastic chili made by professional and non-professional contributors.

Chili Cooks and Musical Groups Tune Up for 5th Annual Charity Chili Cook-Off

American Legion Post 14

Last year's cook-off drew upwards of 500 chili and music lovers. It's expected that this year's event will meet or even exceed that number.

Toys for Tots Golf Scramble and Gala Dinner/Dance

Puerto Vallarta Navy League

For the 18th consecutive year, the Navy League in partnership with the Marriott CasaMagna Resort, the Vista Vallarta Golf Club and many other sponsors will be raising money to buy thousands of toys for distribution on Three Kings Day to needy kids this holiday season.

16th Chili Cook-Off & 4th Taste Of Nuevo Vallarta

CVB of Riviera Nayarit

There are over 20 restaurants and individual groups already confirmed and the event is expected to surpass last year’s 29 participants. The objective is to donate 100% of the proceeds to the IFC Cleft Palate Program and the Navy League Toys for Tots charities.

Puerto Vallarta Navy League Newsletter & Events

Puerto Vallarta Navy League

The first line in the mission statement of the Puerto Vallarta Navy League is to meet and greet visiting sailors from friendly nations when they chose to stop for fuel and supplies in our favorite port.

American Legion & Navy League Events for Veterans and Remembrance Day

American Legion Post 14

American Legion Post 14 and the Puerto Vallarta Navy League invite all American, Canadian and Mexican citizens to celebrate these commemorative holidays with events on November 11th and 12th.

12th International Altruism Festival to Benefit 20 Local Vallarta-Nayarit Charities


This is the most important altruism event of Puerto Vallarta and will take place on Sunday, May 8, 2016, beginning at 6:00 pm, in the beautiful beachfront garden of the CasaMagna Marriott Resort in Marina Vallarta.

Another Great Year of Toys for Tots Vallarta Distributions

Puerto Vallarta Navy League

In addition to giving away 8,000 toys, Toys for Tots this year generated enough funds to construct a number of playgrounds in some of the neighborhoods visited.

Events Not to Miss This Week in Puerto Vallarta & Riviera Nayarit


A lot is going on around Banderas Bay this week including Dinner Theater, Bucerias Christmas for Kids, International Friendship Club Home Tours, Live Concerts, Fundraisers, Voice of Vallarta, Farmers Markets, Festivals and so much more.

The Great Chili Cook-Off and Taste of Nuevo Vallarta Fundraiser

Vallarta Yacht Club

The Chili Cook-off is an invitation for commercial and non-commercial teams (including non-profit organizations) as well as local restaurants to challenge each other to create the most popular chili.

Navy League Social at Hacienda de Los Santos

American Legion Post 14

Join the Puerto Vallarta Navy League on Thursday, November 19 from 6:00 until 8:00 pm at the beautiful Hacienda de Los Santos in Marina Vallarta.

Toys for Tots Golf Scramble and Dinner/Dance

Puerto Vallarta Navy League

This year's major fundraisers will be held the weekend of December 12-13. On December 12 a fun-filled golf scramble tournament will be held at the Vista Vallarta Golf Club. On December 13 a gala holiday Dinner/Dance will be celebrated at the Marriott.

U.S. Coast Guard Puts Final Touches on Kinder Care Rehab

Navy League

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett, operating out of Seattle, Washington, visited Puerto Vallarta last week for a bit of R&R, but also found time to send a work party of 10 sailors to finish the total overhaul of a Kinder Care in Ixtapa.

Toys for Tots & Families at the Dump Benefit Big Time from Nuevo Vallarta Fundraiser

Vallarta Yacht Club

Families at the Dump and the Navy League's Toys for Tots programs each received a check for 33,790.00 pesos as a result of the 2nd annual "Taste of Nuevo / 14th annual Cruisers Chili Cook-off."

Events Not to Miss This Week in Vallarta-Nayarit


A lot is going on around Banderas Bay this week including Kitty Bingo, Mark Alan Smith, Movie Screening, Men's Chorus Winter Concert, Toys for Tots Golf & Dinner Dance, Vallarta Open Tennis, Chili Cook-off & Taste of Nuevo Vallarta, Farmers Markets every day, and so much more.

Toys for Tots Fundraisers Include Golf Scramble & Dinner Dance

Toys for Tots

If you enjoy golf, dining and dancing, join us for our two primary fundraisers on December 6 & 7 to help put smiles on the children's faces in Puerto Vallarta this holiday season.

2nd Annual Taste of Nuevo Vallarta & 14th Annual Chili Cook-off

Vallarta Yacht Club

On December 6, from 4:00 - 8:00 pm, the Marina Nuevo Vallarta malecon will be the location of the 2nd year of this great event. Net proceeds will all go to charity, evenly split between Families at the Dump and the Navy League.

Vallarta Yacht Club Awards Dee Cokerham with Jim Ketler Service Award

Vallarta Yacht Club

This award is given annually to the person that has displayed active and positive support for the mission and goals endorsed by the Vallarta Yacht Club to benefit the greater Banderas Bay Community.

Early Bird St. Patrick's Fundraiser at Murphy's Irish Pub with Authentic Celtic-Style Music

American Legion Post 14

The purpose of the party is to eat and drink Irish, to raise funds for the Navy League and American Legion, and to have fun! Let's gather at Murphy's Irish Pub on Sunday, March 16, for an Irish party planned by Jon Murphy.

Vallarta Yacht Club Chili Cook-Off & Taste of Nuevo a Huge Success

Vallarta Yacht Club

Chefs from 30 restaurants joined forces with chili-cooking locals to offer 400 hungry visitors samples of dishes ranging from ceviche to grilled beef to chicken mole to waffles a la mode and much more. Plus, of course, chili!

Golf Tournament and Gala Dinner Fundraisers to Bring Smiles to Toys for Tots Children

Prensa Global

Funds raised will be used to buy toys for the children of Puerto Vallarta who normally do not receive any toys for the holidays. The goal is to spread more than 8,000 smiles next January on the Three Kings Day traditional Mexican festivity.

Vallarta Yacht Club Announces Chili Cook-Off and Taste of Nuevo Vallarta

Vallarta Yacht Club

The Marina Nuevo Vallarta malecon will be the site of the first ever Taste of Nuevo Vallarta and 13th Annual Chili Cook-off, hosted by the Vallarta Yacht Club. It will be held on Saturday, December 7, with proceeds going to local charities.

Charity Pub Quiz Challenge 2013 Partners Up with Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots

Every Wednesday from May 15 to June 12 in Puerto Vallarta, contestants will team up to show off their intellectual prowess, win thousands of pesos worth of prizes, and help the local Toys for Tots program.

Charities Announced to Benefit from Vallarta's 2013 Altruism Festival

U.S. Consular Agency Vallarta

Twenty-four of our local charity and non-profit organizations in Banderas Bay have been announced to participate and benefit from Puerto Vallarta's largest fundraising event of the year to take place on Sunday, May 5.

9th International Altruism Festival to Benefit 24 Local Charities


This is the most important altruism event of Puerto Vallarta and will take place on Sunday, May 5, 2013, beginning at 6:00 pm, in the beautiful beachfront garden of the CasaMagna Marriott Resort in Marina Vallarta.

Everybody's a Winner as the First Chili Cook-Off is Deemed a Sizzling Success

Navy League of Puerto Vallarta

Last Saturday's chili cook-off sponsored jointly by American Legion and Navy League of Puerto Vallarta attracted an overflow crowd of more than 400 happy patrons who consumed in excess of 60 gallons of chili, ranging from mild to spicy hot.

Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser to Benefit the Youth of Banderas Bay

Banderas Bay American Legion Post #14

Save the date of Saturday, March 30, as the American Legion Post 14 and Navy League of Puerto Vallarta team up with El Rio Bar & Grill for this chili cook-off fundraiser to benefit four of our Banderas Bay charities.

Liabilities of Eating Rosca de Reyes 'Three Kings Cake' on January 6

Vallarta Escapes

This delicious and airy bread is slightly sweet and topped with dried fruit, crumb topping and sugar. There are a couple baby Jesus dolls hidden inside and tradition says that whoever finds it has to prepare the next holiday fiesta.

You Can Help Distribute Toys for Tots in Banderas Bay

Navy League of Puerto Vallarta

Toys will be distributed to the kids on Monday, January 7, the day after Three Kings' Day and the 1st day back to school from the holiday break. About 20 caravans of volunteers will fan out across the Bahia, from Nayarit to Cabo Corrientes.

Toys for Tots Vallarta Golf Tournament & Gala Dinner Fundraiser

American Legion Post 14

The Golf Tournament will be on Saturday, December 8, at the Vista Vallarta-Weiskopf Golf Course and will be a scramble format. The Gala Dinner will take place at the CasaMagna Marriott Hotel in Marina Vallarta on the following day, Sunday, December 9.

House Hunters Charity Event in Puerto Vallarta

Timothy Real Estate Group

The House Hunters Charity Fundraiser event held May 28th at Daiquiri Dicks beachfront restaurant had an Old Hollywood theme. Becas Vallarta, The Navy League Toys for Tots, and Asilo San Juan Diego were all chosen as beneficiaries for the screening event.

House Hunters International Screening Event Fundraiser

Timothy Real Estate Group

Timothy Real Estate Group invites you to a screening of the recent House Hunters International episode filmed in Puerto Vallarta and decided to hold a charity fundraiser event to give back to the community. They hope to see you on May 28.

8th International Altruism Festival

CasaMagna Marriott Resort & Spa

CasaMagna Marriott Resort & Spa is once again the proud sponsor of the 8th International Altruism Festival in Puerto Vallarta. This gastronomic and cultural event creates awareness among the population to support those who need it the most.

House Hunters Features Vallarta Homes

Nacho Daddy Mexico

The regulars where I work at Nacho Daddy Mexico always knew Puerto Vallarta was the place to live, now the world will know too, because in a new episode of "House Hunters International", Puerto Vallarta will be featured on the HGTV network.

USCGC Steadfast Sailors Lend a Hand

Navy League of PV

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast was in port for 3 days for not only a bit of R & R after two months at sea, but to assist the local Navy League Council in refurbishing a local retirement home and planting a vegetable garden.

Toys for Tots Golf Tournament and Gala Dinner


Over the years, Toys for Tots has collected more than 100,000 toys and has installed playgrounds in disadvantaged communities around Puerto Vallarta.

Generating Smiles for Needy Children


For the thirteenth consecutive year, the now traditional Toys for Tots Golf Tournament and Gala Dinner will take place on December 10 and 11 to raise funds to purchase toys that will bring a smile to the faces of the Puerto Vallarta children.

Mexico Puts a Comedic Twist on Classic Biblical Tale of Christmas


With a little bit of laughter and a little bit of drama, the holiday play sets the stage for a season filled with Christmas joy.

Silver Bells? In Mexico, Breaking Pinatas Herald the Christmas Season

The Christian Science Monitor

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Mexico, but for Joshua Cruz, it’s not the parking lots full of pine trees or carols blasting from cafe speakers that put him in the holiday spirit.

#GivingTuesday Ushers in the Holiday Giving Season

The Non Profit Times

The fourth iteration of #GivingTuesday kicks off at midnight Tuesday, with thousands of nonprofits preparing to officially kick off their busiest time of the year with visions of donors dancing in their heads.

The Toy Movement's Mission of Goodwill Hits Mexico


The Toy Movement is recognizing its first anniversary by delivering toys to children in Mexico. The global initiative provides toys to disadvantaged and displaced children around the world with the hope of bringing inspiration, imagination and joy to children through play.

Giving Kids Presents Anonymously Might Be the Hottest Trend of the Holiday Season


Several generous Americans have headed into Toys R Us stores and settled the layaway accounts of their fellow customers.

TV Azteca's Jugueton Toy Drive Reaches Milestone of Distributing Over 16 Million Toys

TV Azteca

TV Azteca and a company of Grupo Salinas, announced a new milestone of delivering 16,328,379 toys to needy children in Mexico, the United States and Guatemala.

3,000 Bikers Take Part in Annual Toy Run to Tijuana


More than 3,000 motorcyclists traveled from San Diego to Tijuana to participate in the 28th edition of the "Toy Run," a charitable event to support children living in the Mexican border city.

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