As the first year-round initiative of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, the literacy program offers the nation’s most economically disadvantaged children direct access to books and educational resources. This helps enhance their ability to read and communicate effectively, enabling them to compete academically and succeed in life.
Participating The UPS Store locations sell donation cards in the spring as well as in November and December. Centers continue additional fundraising activities throughout the year, including a coin box program for customers to donate spare change. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation uses every dollar donated to purchase books for less fortunate children in the communities in which the donations were made.
To give the program a healthy launch each year, Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., franchisor of The UPS Store, donates $50,000 and The UPS Foundation provides a $100,000 grant.
“Over the past four years, our franchisees and their customers have been the driving force of the Toys for Tots Literacy Program,” said Stuart Mathis, president of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. “As locally owned businesses, we understand the importance of giving back to our communities.”
The UPS Store franchisees help drive the Toys for Tots Literacy Program by identifying local organizations that serve less fortunate children. In Reston, Va., The UPS Store franchisee Hal Berens helps make an impact in his local community by hosting an annual book donation event at his center. This year, Berens presented $10,000 worth of books to four local organizations. Since 2008, with the support of his local community, Berens’ location has donated nearly $25,000 worth of books to local children.
“It’s great to see first-hand the impact these donations make on my community,” Berens said. “These schools and organizations need the funds now more than ever.”
Nearly 5,000 miles away from Virginia, in Honolulu, Hawaii, The UPS Store franchisee Larry Adler has actively supported the program since its launch in 2008, raising nearly $32,000 at his five The UPS Store locations.
“This program provides us the unique opportunity to work with a nationally recognized organization yet make a local impact,” Adler said.
“The UPS Store franchise owners are truly making a difference in communities across the country through the more than $2 million they’ve donated to the Toys for Tots Literacy Program,” said LtGen. Pete Osman, USMC (Ret), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “We believe that reading is the most important skill a child can learn, and we look forward to continuing to work side-by-side with The UPS Store on this important cause.”