The holidays are almost here and once again, and IC3D is holding its third annual Toys for Tots campaign to help warm the hearts of children.
How It All Started
Back in 2018, Ohio-based IC3D partnered with Toys for Tots — a U.S. Marines-run initiative — to embark on a common mission to 3D print toys for kids and spread the holiday cheer. Communities across several states made thousands of toys which were later distributed by the U.S. Marines to less fortunate children.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, 3D printing is more relevant than ever in helping bring on the holiday spirit! Many families are likely to be in tough conditions, considering the economic toll that the pandemic took and community makers’ help is just all the more appreciated.
Toys For Tots
Since 1947, the Marines have been delivering toys to less fortunate children through their Toys for Tots program, which officially became a nonprofit in 1991. To date, they have distributed over 584 million toys to over 265 million children.
In 2018, they decided to go a little more high-tech and partnered with IC3D to 3D print toys for 150 lucky kids. The community came together and 3D printed little toy robots with movable arms and legs (which could retail for around $10), using donated filament.
In 2019, the program expanded — by tenfold! IC3D shared of last year’s successful 3D printing toy mission:
“27 Printer Elves. 50 Spools of Filament. 1,400 toys!”
The Marines are as determined as anyone when it comes to a mission and this one is no different!
“The main goal of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots program is to amplify the work of leaders in the community by offering less fortunate families toys for their children during the holidays. IC3D was able to assist us with that mission. The 3D printed toys were spread around the community to a variety of organizations serving families and were thrilled to receive them. Several of the families were surprised that such high quality was possible with 3D printed toys,” US Marines Sgt. Abner Corona, Toys for Tots Coordinator, Lima Company, told Fabbaloo during the 2018 campaign.
How You Can Make A Difference
The holidays are all about giving. While 3D printing is generally applicable in industrial uses and aims to make processes cheaper, more efficient, and customizable, this initiative is definitely focused purely on the giving. And the fun!
As a part of the 3D printing community as a whole, now is the time that you can give back! The holidays are nearing and Toys for Tots is here yet again, looking for help from all of you!
To volunteer your services to this wonderful initiative, you can sign up directly on the IC3D website! A big thank you to everyone who takes part in brightening the holiday season for children across the country!
The thing about this initiative that inspires me the most is the fact that maybe it will help kids realize that toys are made somewhere and by someone — and that one day, it could even be them. After all, they are the next generation of the 3D printing community!