Make a Difference This Holiday by Donating to Toys for Tots on Anna Maria Island

Have you been searching for a way to make a genuine difference this holiday season? If so, donating to Toys for Tots is an excellent way to do so. When you donate to Toys for Tots, you’re not only providing joy to children over the holidays, but you’re also easing the stress and pressure of financially overburdened parents who would otherwise not be able to provide gifts for their children. If you want to treat yourself to a gift while you’re at it, we have many Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and Holmes Beach rentals conveniently located near our donation location. 

About Toys for Tots

When it comes to making donations, it can be hard to know who to trust. Many people worry about the prospect of their donations going to charities that aren’t actually putting the proceeds to action. Sadly, that is the reality of the situation sometimes. However, with Toys for Tots, you don’t have to worry.

All of your donations will end up exactly where you intend them to, in the hands of the parents that you help. There is a strict process in place that ensures that your donations only go to those who are genuinely in need.

Toys for Tots is operated by the United State Marine Corps Reserve. It has roots dating all the way back to the year 1947. Marine Toys for Tots began in the city of Los Angeles when Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, had a conversation with his wife about her not being able to locate a place to donate a homemade doll to a child in need.

toy story toys
Photo from Unsplash

She suggested to her husband that he gathered a group of local Marine Reserves who then worked together to place “toy collection” bins outside of movie theatres. In their first year, they gathered over 5,000 donated toys that then ended up going to those in need. The community was so impressed by the results of the efforts that they decided to expand the program to a national level. At first, the program cleaned up old toys, but beginning in the year 1980, only new toys were excepted for donation. This switch occurred for a few reasons, the main one being how only receiving used toys may affect the self-esteem and emotional development of children. 

In the year 1995, Toys for Tots was recognized as an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve. 


In the present day, toy donations are collected during the months of October, November, and December. Monetary donations are accepted year-round. All toys go back to the children that live in the community where the donation occurred. Anna Maria Island draws in much of its income from tourism-related activities, and the workers within this industry sometimes struggle financially in the offseason. 

Plan Your Vacation

If you’re ready to learn more about our beautiful Anna Maria Island rentals, you’ll want to check out our listing page, where you will find detailed information and updated photos of the properties that we have available. It’s super easy to navigate, and you can even filter rentals based on your personal preferences and needs. 

If you decide to donate while you are staying in one of our Anna Maria vacation rentals, you’ll be doing a huge service to the members of the community that make your vacations possible. As we mentioned above, there are regulations in place. Families must apply to receive toys, so you can rest assured that your donations will only be going to those that truly need them.

Where to Donate 

If you are looking to donate, stop by our A Paradise Realty office during our Holiday Open House on Friday, December 2nd between 5 – 6:30 pm. Bring your unwrapped toy and join us for a wine tasting and tapas donated by Hurricane Hanks. There will be live entertainment and a raffle too. Donations are accepted as well if you don’t want to bring a toy. You can also drop off donations at the following locations: Hurricane Hanks, Sun Newspaper, Slicker’s Eatery, Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, Duffy’s Tavern, Holmes Beach Post Office, Grooms Motors & Automotive, The Waterline Resort, The Feast, Publix on East Bay Drive, Center of AMI, and the AMI Post Office.