‘Tis the Time of Toys for Tots


Maya Sabbaghian

Students can donate to Toys for Tots by bringing in new toys and placing them under one of the three Christmas trees in the Student Union.

Maya Sabbaghian, Opinion Editor

Three Christmas trees adorned with silver and purple ornaments stand in the Student Union, each one with paper gift tags marked with age groups hanging off its plastic branches. Under each tree are small bundles of wrapped presents and gift bags with a paper tag attached to each.

In one sits a teddy bear wearing a Dave and Busters shirt and a tag marked for ages 1-3 tied around its ear. These trees, placed there by ASB from Dec. 3 until Dec. 14, reflect Portola High’s involvement in the annual Toys for Tots campaign.

Toys for Tots is a national organization with the mission of collecting new toys to give to less fortunate children and spreading holiday cheer through the effort. The organization started in 1947 and was founded by Major Bill Hendricks in Los Angeles when Hendricks’ wife hand stitched dolls to donate to children. Though when she asked Hendricks to donate the dolls, he could not find a service that would donate toys. As a result, he founded his own organization, according to toysfortots.org.

Over the years, the Toys for Tots organization has expanded into a nationwide initiative, garnering supports from celebrities and presidents, from Walt Disney designing the original poster for Toys for Tots in 1948 to First Lady Michelle Obama declaring her support for the organization in 2009.

The toys collected from the drive can bring hope to children whose parents cannot afford these luxuries. ASB is encouraging students with holiday-themed signs hanging around campus as well as asking each student who plans to participate in the upcoming dodgeball tournament to donate four toys.

In order to donate a (new) toy, bring it to school and pick a tag from one of the Christmas trees with the appropriate age range for the gift, hook the tag on and place it under a tree.

For more information, go to toysfortots.org.