Welch Packaging Celebrates 15 Years with Toys for Tots
By: Welch Packaging
For more than three decades, we have had many wonderful opportunities to partner with local and national organizations. We sponsor literacy programs at local libraries, work with The United Way on their annual campaigns, and donate to children's programs throughout our communities all year long. The list of worthy organizations we support each year now exceeds 130.
But there's one in particular that really stands out.
It may sound odd, but when the heat and humidity of July arrive each summer, we actually get into the Christmas spirit at Welch Packaging. That's because, for each of the past 15 years, it's been our privilege to make collection bins for Toys for Tots.
Toys for Tots got its start in 1947 when a group of US Marine Reservists collected and distributed about 5,000 toys to less fortunate children throughout the Los Angeles area. In 1948, the Marines decided to expand the program nationwide to 74 communities in 25 states. That's also when they first started using the name Toys for Tots. Now spanning all 50 states and US territories, The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has grown to help 7 million children every year!
Toys for Tots relies on donations from the general public for about 75% of all the toys it distributes. Today, most of us recognize the familiar cardboard donation bins that dot the landscape across America… but it wasn't always that way.
Early on, Toys for Tots used whatever boxes and barrels it could find to hold donated toys. But in 2003, Welch Packaging was approached by Norm Heaton, asking if we had any spare cardboard bins which could be used by the local Elkhart, Indiana chapter. That year, we manufactured about 5,000 plain boxes for local donations.
What started as a small run of plain, white boxes has grown monumentally over the years. We now manufacture more than 110,000 collection bins per year, each one sporting the eye-catching toy train, red-and-black Toys for Tots logo.
This massive increase was made possible by the addition of our own corrugator in Elkhart, and by the manufacturing capacity of Welch Packaging facilities in other cities. Our corrugator gives us the capability to create proprietary paper combinations made from 100% recycled material that costs less while exceeding the performance of standard board grades. These cost savings allow Toys for Tots to get more bang for their buck, and that means more toys for more tots.
The collection bins have now become miniature landmarks across the nation. Our bins have been seen on Ellen and in photo ops with three presidents. From Salt Lake City International Airport, to parade routes in Los Angeles, to famous department stores in New York City, you'll see the iconic boxes everywhere. Chances are, in the months leading up to Christmas Eve, you're never very far from a Toys for Tots collection bin made by Welch Packaging.
To us, it's not "just a box." It's part of our founding vision of making a difference every single day. Many people would say it's impossible to put happiness in a box. We disagree. We've been doing it for 15 years with Toys for Tots. Thanks for your continuing support!
To learn more, please visit: http://welchpkg.com/
Pat Brownewell - Welch Packaging