About the Toys for Tots Literacy Program

Mission: The Toys for Tots Literacy Program offers our nation's most economically disadvantaged children the ability to compete academically and to succeed in life by providing them direct access to resources that will enhance their ability to read and to communicate effectively.

Background: For more than 60 years, Toys for Tots has been bringing smiles to the faces of needy children through the gift of a new toy. While Toys for Tots is committed to this tradition and continues its toy program, it is extending its reach through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.

After supporting Toys for Tots since 2005 and raising $1.3 million to help brighten the lives of thousands of children nationwide, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. network launched the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, a year-round initiative, in March 2008 to expand upon its existing partnership. 

While the Toys for Tots Literacy Program maintains the Toys for Tots mission of delivering hope, it extends the organization’s reach and impact in a meaningful way by providing children in need with the gift of a book. Since 2008, the program has delivered more than 1 million books to hundreds of thousands of less fortunate children. This program not only brings the joy of reading to these children, but also serves as an important tool in breaking the cycle of poverty.

How It Works: Every donation to the Toys for Tots Literacy Program benefits local children in need or the libraries, schools, and existing programs that serve them.

Click to read thank you letters from two of the many organizations that have received books – Aspire Titan Academy and Reach Out and Read Michigan.

How to Support: Donate cash or new books at participating The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations. Donations can also be made online. Customers can check with their local The UPS Store or Mail Boxes Etc. location to find out if they are conducting a book drive. To find the nearest location, go to www.theupsstore.com or www.mbe.com.

Literacy Facts & Figures:

  • It is estimated that the cost of illiteracy to business and taxpayers is $20 billion per year. (United Way, “Illiteracy: A National Crisis”)
  • In low-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is one age-appropriate book for every 300 children. (Included in the “Handbook of Early Literacy Research”, Vol. 2 edited by Susan Neuman and David Dickinson)