Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Merry Christmas From And For Some Heroes 2017

'Tis the Season, which makes it a good time to take a look at a few Christmas charities. I've run this information before, but it is always worth repeating.

Toys for Tots

The Toys for Tots program was founded in 1947 by Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, in Los Angeles, CA, and was officially adopted and expanded into a national program by the U.S. Marine Corps the following year. Every year, around this time, Marine Corps League Detachments and selected local community organizations set up collection centers in public spaces to accept donations of new, unwrapped toys for distribution to less fortunate children in those same local communities. As of the conclusion of their 2012 campaign (the latest year for which I could find completed numbers), Toys for Tots had distributed nearly 17 million toys to more than 7 million children.

FOP Cops and Kids

The “Shop with a Cop” program is a local effort conducted by police departments across the country, designed to remind children that the police are there to help. Police departments conduct fundraisers to purchase school supplies and Christmas presents for children who would otherwise go without, and then take the children shopping, so the children get to participate in picking out their supplies and presents. Through this, the Fraternal Order of Police hopes to make a lasting impression and make a real difference in their local communities, one child at a time.

Soldiers’ Secret Santa

The holiday season can be especially difficult for families of military members serving abroad. After a soldier in the 101st Airborne Division was killed by an Iraqi roadside bomb in early December, 2007, the Soldiers’ Secret Santa program was established to try to help ease this load, in some small way. Within weeks, the fledgling program raised enough to provide anonymous Christmas presents to five families and eighteen children. Today, the Soldier’s Secret Santa program continues to provide anonymous Christmas presents to the children of military members from all service branches, and is one of the fastest growing military charities in the country.

Holiday Mail For Heroes

Every year the American Red Cross helps to organize sending Thank You and Christmas cards to military members and veterans serving overseas or others separated from their families due to their military service. Beginning this year, the Red Cross is giving this program a new look, making it more about “neighbors helping neighbors”. Unlike previous years, there will be no national PO Box. Instead, local chapters across the country and overseas will organize individual programs, to benefit service members within and from those communities.


There are, of course, far too many charities and events to go over in this small space, but these are some highlights that I believe are worth looking into. From everyone here at, we hope that you and yours have a wonderful season. Stay safe, enjoy your families, and remember to keep moving forward, no matter the interruption.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each and every one of you!

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