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Toys for Kids of Vermont is an entirely volunteer program sponsored by the Marine Corps League in Vermont which collects new unwrapped Toys during the pre-Christmas season and oversees their distribution to needy children in the state of Vermont. We are a 501 C (3) registered Tax Exempt organization.
It is our goal to see that no Vermont child wakes up on Christmas morning and asks, "Why can't Santa come to my house?"
Toys for Kids is a 100% volunteer operation. All money collected stays in Vermont and is used primarily to purchase age appropriate gifts to supplement toy donations and for older children.
Five Marine Corps League Detachments in the State of Vermont operate the Toys for Kids Program. The Donald Cook Detachment in Burlington, the Robert Vincelette Detachment in St. Albans, the Edson Detachment in Rutland, the Brattleboro Detachment in Brattleboro, and the Green Mountain Detachment in Montpelier. This effort constitutes the largest Christmas Toy Collection for needy children in the state.
The Donald Cook Detachment operates in Chittenden and Addison counties and works closely with the Vincellette Detachment which serves Franklin county.
We accomplish this task with the help of hundreds of volunteers from within our communities. Numerous businesses are part of the mix, too. Subsidiary toy collection campaigns are conducted within many large enterprises like General Dynamics, IBM and many smaller ones like a local convenience store, a barber shop, or a dry cleaner.
The Toys for Kids of Vermont organization is operated entirely by volunteers, it has no employees or paid staff or "consultants." Its administrative and operating expenses are close to zero. We have been fortunate in being able to "scrounge" things like the red barrels and the colorful posters that adorn them, and even the paint on the barrels. Many people have been good to us. Others donate transportation for collecting and distributing the toys, the storage space to house our seasonal operations and to store the barrels during the off-season.
We sincerely thank everyone in the community who provides this sort of support.
Toys for Kids of Vermont is a registered trade name owned by the Donald Cook Detachment of the Marine Corps League. The occasional use of this trademark by others requires the permission of the Donald Cook Detachment.
We are NOT affiliated with Toys For Tots or the Toys for Tots Foundation.
Fact: Over twenty thousand Vermont kids live below the poverty level and at Christmas time the Toys for Kids program provides those same kids with toys for their Christmas.
The Toys for Kids program is about KIDS & TOYS & CHRISTMAS. We ask all who can to help in this volunteer effort. The Donald Cook Detachment is made up of former Marines and Naval personnel who served with the Marines who are proud to have served their country.
The Marines have recruited hundreds of additional volunteers who monitor the red barrels with white snowflakes on them that have become the symbol of Christmas spirit in Vermont. The toys are collected by these volunteers, stored safely and then turned over to other charitable organizations like the Salvation Army, Last Chance Program, Light Ministries, and various church groups for distribution to the needy.
Toys for Kids is critical to the State of Vermont and supplements the services of other agencies. It provides both manpower and money, allowing them to use their resources for food, clothing and other necessities for those in need.
The Marines also believe that kids should not permanently lose their toys to fires and other tragedies during the year. Toys for Kids replaces toys destroyed under these circumstances.
Many do not realize that Vermont Marines have been collecting toys for needy kids since the 1950s when the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center was located on the site now occupied by the Echo Center on Burlington's waterfront.