Frequently Asked Questions

First, thank you for participating in this year's Central Iowa Toys for Tots campaign.

  1. What is Toys for Tots? Toys for Tots is a program started back in 1947 by Major Bill Hendricks in Los Angeles, California. Major Hendricks wanted to give a toy to a needy child, but there was no organization at the time prepared to accomplish this mission, so the Marine Cops Reserve began this program. Since 1947, the Marine Corps Reserve has collected toys each year from the local communities, sorted them by age and gender groups, and redistributed them back among the local communities. Read more of Toys of Tots' history »
  2. Who can help with Toys for Tots? Anyone!! The donation of toys to the Central Iowa Toys for Tots program is of great assistance. Those wishing to assist at a greater level have either become a toy drop-off site and/or donated personal time to assist with the sorting and distribution of toys at our Toy Center. All assistance is greatly appreciated.
  3. What kind of toys can be donated? Each year, we collect toys for boys and girls, newborn to 17 years old. What we ask for is a new, unwrapped toy for children of these age groups. Due to health regulations, we are only allowed to distribute new toys.
  4. Does Toys for Tots accept cash donations? We do accept cash donations. The preferred method is for the individual or business to send a check or money order to the local Central Iowa Toys for Tots Coordinator, made payable to "Toys for Tots" and mailed to:
    Toys for Tots Coordinator
    Marine Corps Reserve Center
    Bldg # 47 Dickman Ave
    Des Moines IA 50315
    The cash donations are then used to purchase toys from local businesses to assist in the toy shortages for gender/age groups.

  5. When will the Toys for Tots drop-off boxes be collected? The boxes are normally collected around December 18th at our toy warehouse located at Channel 8 KCCI, 888 9th St. Des Moines, IA. This ensures that the toys are sorted and distributed back within the community by December 20th.
  6. Who receives the toys? The toys from Central Iowa Toys for Tots are distributed back to the Central Iowa communities. Families that would like to be screen for eligibility to receive toys click the "How do I receive toys?" button on the home page or contact us at (515) 285-2616.
  7. Who can I contact for more information about Toys for Tots? Please feel free to contact the Marine Corps Reserve Center for more information. The telephone number is (515) 285-2616. You may also go to the Toys for Tots Foundation website at