Toys for Tots launches Literacy Initiative

After 60 years of delivering holiday joy to millions of disadvantaged children, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is launching its first year-round initiative, the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.

This new initiative will offer economically disadvantaged children in the U.S. the ability to compete academically and to succeed in life by providing direct access to books and educational resources that will enhance their ability to read and to communicate effectively.

"The mission of Toys for Tots has always been to deliver a message of hope and inspiration to needy children through the power of a gift. One of the keys to unlocking the door to a brighter and more prosperous future for these children is a good education," said Lt. Gen. Pete Osman, USMC (ret), president and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. "With the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, we will be able to extend our reach and impact in a very meaningful way by giving the gift of reading to those who need it most."

The national network of The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. franchisees will serve as exclusive sponsors of the initiative.

"Our franchisees have been enthusiastic supporters of Toys for Tots since we signed on as a national sponsor in 2005 and they have raised more than $1.3 million. Yet they wanted to do more," said Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. (MBE) President Stuart Mathis. "According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 12.8 million children live in poverty. The literacy program is the perfect way to help provide these children with the tools they need to break the cycle of poverty."

Throughout March, participating The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations will collect $1 donations for its Buck a Book program through which every dollar donated will place a book into the hands of a economically disadvantaged child in that local community. Stores will continue additional fundraising activities throughout the year. To kick-off the program, MBE, franchisor of The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. brands, is donating $125,000, which will distribute 125,000 books to children in need.

To help support this initiative, Scholastic, the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, will offer a selection of children's titles to the Toys for Tots Literacy Program at a special, discounted non-profit rate.

For more information on the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, please visit


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