Do The Numbers: 22% of American Kids Live in Poverty

For those who don’t know, Toys for Tots is a U.S. Marine Corps based organization that collects new toys and distributes them as Christmas presents to needy children each year. This year iBec is volunteering for TFT as a collection point, so I wanted to do a little research into the impact the organization might have on kids in our country. However, as they say on their own website “…there are no studies that present concrete evidence to support the positive impact Toys for Tots has on children. Luckily I think we can use some other data to get the big picture.

I was raised celebrating Christmas, but I realized I wasn’t sure how many people celebrate the holiday in our country. According to a 2010 Gallup poll some 95% of Americans celebrate Christmas, and almost all of them exchange gifts on the holiday. There’s a ±4% margin of error on that data but clearly, Christmas is something that many Americans participate in. Now overlap this figure with 2012 United States Census Bureau data claiming that 22% of American children (under age 18) live in poverty. Many of these children will go without something under the Christmas tree this year, and fewer still were it not for organizations like Toys For Tots. I don’t have data to say what percentage of children in poverty also celebrate Christmas, but my gut tells me it is very many. Thankfully, many of those kids will be covered by TFT, which says: Upon conclusion of the 2012 campaign, Toys for Tots had distributed nearly 16.8 million toys to more than 7 million children.”

I fear I am a little late in writing this piece. Toys for Tots will be closing its collection points in the next couple of days. But there is still some time left. Consider joining the iBec team and donating a toy to a needy child this year. There are drop-off points all over the state, including our office:

100 Fore Street, Suite C
Portland, Maine 04101

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