CHICAGO, IL — The Toys for Tots holiday campaign is officially underway in Chicagoland. The campaign will run through Christmas with 812 local toy collections and distribution campaigns set up and planned across the United States.

U.S. Marines and over 35,000 volunteers help to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute those gifts to less fortunate children, according to a news release.

In 2018, the Chicago Toys for Tots campaign distributed 101,214 toys to 96,864 children. Other local campaigns made a mark as well. The northeast Cook/southern Lake counties’ chapter distributed 32,974 toys to 15,211 children; the Kane County campaign distributed 23,965 toys to 10,900 children; in McHenry County, 17,272 toys were distributed to 4,750 children; and in Lake County – Great Lakes, 67,924 toys were distributed to 18,690 children.

Local Toys for Tots campaigns can be located on the Toys for Tots website.

In the U.S., there are an estimated 15 million children living in poverty. The mission of Marine Toys for Tots is to bring the joy of Christmas to less fortunate children with the goal to deliver a message of hope that will inspire youngsters to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.