The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. Network Delivers the Gift of Literacy to Children
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 2, 2009 – In celebration of National Family Literacy Month, The UPS Store® and Mail Boxes Etc.® locations across the U.S. are kicking off their holiday donation drive for the Toys for Tots Literacy Program to help bring awareness to the issue of children’s literacy and remind families of the importance of reading together.
The Toys for Tots Literacy Program, a year-round initiative of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, offers the nation’s most economically disadvantaged children the ability to compete academically and to succeed in life by providing them direct access to books and educational resources that enhance their ability to read and to communicate effectively.
As exclusive sponsors of the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, participating The UPS Store® and Mail Boxes Etc.® locations will sell $1 donation cards through Thursday, December 31. For every dollar donated, a book will be placed into the hands of a less fortunate child in the local community.
To help raise awareness of the need for initiatives like the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. network has enlisted the assistance of the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) and its president and founder, Sharon Darling.
“National Family Literacy Month is a wonderful opportunity for families to share their favorite books and to spend a few minutes reading their favorite stories together,” said Darling. “The ability to read is the foundation on which the rest of an education is built. However, far too many families can’t foster a love of reading and learning because they don’t have access to the resources they need, including books.”
Even before the financial crisis, the National Center for Educational Statistics released a report asserting that 33 percent of all fourth graders in this country cannot read at grade level. This puts at risk their futures and their ability to become actively engaged adults and productive members of society.
“One of the keys to unlocking the door to a brighter and more prosperous future for these children is a good education,” said LtGen. Pete Osman, USMC (Ret), president and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. “In low-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is one age-appropriate book for every 300 children, and two-thirds of American classrooms have fewer than 50 children’s books. We hope to change this through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.”
Since the March 2008 launch of the program, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. network has collectively raised nearly $900,000 through a variety of activities, enabling the purchase of an equal number of books, and hopes to reach $1 million dollars by the end of the year.
“With the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, our franchise owners are able to give the gift of hope and help break the cycle of poverty for children in their communities,” said Stuart Mathis, president of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. “With this program, every $1 donation will help the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation buy a book for a deserving child.”
For more information or to donate, please visit www.ToysforTots.org/literacy
About The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots Program
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not-for-profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Now in its 62nd year, Toys for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy or book during the Christmas holiday season. Our gifts offer these children hope, recognition and a positive memory they will cherish for a lifetime. Many of the gifts we provide, such as books, games and sports equipment, make a significant contribution to the educational, social and recreational development of these children. In 2008, Marines distributed gifts to 7.6 million children in 657 communities nationwide. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation relies on individual donations from the American public as well as support from corporate sponsors. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.
About The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc.
With approximately 4,800 locations in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. network comprises the world’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, document and business service centers. In the United States, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., a UPS subsidiary. In Canada, locations are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of master licensee MBEC Communications, L.P. For additional information, please visit www.theupsstore.com or www.mbe.com.
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