TODAY has kicked off our Holiday Toy and Gift Drive.
Since 1994, we've distributed more than $285 million in donations to more than 200 organizations across America and to U.S. military bases abroad.
How do you donate?
Come down to the TODAY plaza if you're near New York City — celebrity "elves" collect toys daily during the broadcast. (If you arrive after 10 a.m. ET, drop off your gift at the Rockefeller Center NBC Experience Store, in the special TODAY Toy Drive bin.)
Celebrity "elves" will start collecting on Nov. 26. Celebs who have helped in past years include George Clooney, Jon Hamm, Matt Damon, Claire Danes, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, former Vice President Al Gore, and Olympians Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Who knows who will be wearing the Santa hat when you visit?
You can also donate online at Amazon.com/TODAY. Click the Amazon link, add as many items as you like to your cart, complete the checkout, and Amazon will do the rest.
Pledge your time for TODAY's toy drive. Hasbro will donate a toy for every volunteer, up to 100,000 gifts.
If you're interested in making a contribution in a different way, please email email@example.com or call (212) 664-7508.
All donations are appreciated, no matter how big or small. We are most in need of toys for boys of all ages, and tweens and teens up to age 18.
Why this cause?
Every 29 seconds, a child in the United States is born into poverty, with limited access to food, medical care and basic human services. For many, TODAY is their ONLY source of gifts for the holidays. There will be no toys this holiday season for these children unless you choose to help.
The program is designed to provide gifts and essentials for impoverished children and teenagers up to age 18 nationwide. It has also expanded to include gifts that children are able to give their parents, because giving provides joy in itself.
These items go to millions of kids in all 50 states. Recipients include homeless shelters, children's group homes, schools, foster family services, domestic abuse shelters, Native American missions, military bases, hospitals, preschools, after-school programs, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Read more about some of the participating organizations in our Charity Spotlight series.
Need more convincing? Matt and Savannah touted the program in a USA Weekend Magazine cover story.
The smallest gift can mean the world to a child in need. As you celebrate with your family, take a moment to let these children know they're loved.
More on the Toy Drive:
The TODAY Show Toy Drive is a project of the TODAY Show Charitable Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent the law allows. In 2010, it was awarded the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Foundation Philanthropy Award, and in 2008, it was honored with a President's Volunteer Service Award.
Let's work together in making this year's toy drive the most successful ever. It comes at a time of great need.
Our sincere thanks go to the following organizations for their generous contributions:
Mary Kay , Thirty One Gifts , Stride Rite, Microsoft , PartyLite Gifts , Abrams Books , DK Publishing , Kohl's Department Store , Southwestern, Stampin' Up! , Sun Products Corporation, Initials, Inc , Amway , 4Life, Essential Bodywear , Mattel , Avon , Cheerios , Goody , Hillshire Brands , Tupperware, Hasbro , Arbonne , Toy Industry Foundation , Music Together , UPPAbaby , Cra-Z-Art , TOMY, ABCmouse.com , Playhut , Ugly Dolls, Jakks Pacific, Inc. , lia sophia, Sanrio, Udderly Smooth , Caboodles, , Direct Selling Association, Amazon.com, HomeGoods, Shaklee , Blessings Unlimited , Kay Jewelers , Cutco , Crest ,Lego , Kind Snacks , Senegence, Pink Papaya, Prestige Toy Corporation, B'nai B'rith International, Signature Homestyles, DeTech , Vantel Pearls in the Oyster
A special thanks to Cra-Z-Art for auctioning off a Lite Brix guitar with proceeds benefiting the Today Show Charitable Foundation.