Spreading holiday cheer to deserving kids

Kurland Insurance works with the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation to collect and distribute toys and gifts to less fortunate children across the U.S. each Christmas season. They reached their goal of 500 votes and doubled their donation to reach $10,000.

A beloved institution since 1947, the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation is synonymous with Christmas cheer. The foundation helps run and support the Toys for Tots program by raising funds, buying and collecting toys, managing community outreach and much more. It distributes about 18 million toys to seven million less fortunate children annually. In addition, the Toys for Tots Literacy Program helps kids succeed in school year-round and in life through direct access to books and other educational resources. 

Spreading holiday cheer to deserving kids
The Kurland Insurance Team and two U.S. Marines in front of a truck filled with 2,750 donated toys, including more than 600 books.

A year-round effort 

 

Led by agency owners Matt and Mona Kurland, Kurland Insurance and its employees have supported Toys for Tots since 2010. A big part of their effort includes connecting with other local businesses to facilitate drop-off and pick-up locations for collection boxes all over the south suburbs of Chicago. Once the boxes have been collected, the agency delivers the toys to the Marines unit in Chicago where they are sorted before being distributed to families.  

 

Kurland Insurance’s involvement isn’t confined to the holiday season, however. Along with working throughout the year enlisting other businessowners to participate, the agency begins distributing boxes in early November to ensure that gifts will arrive for the kids in time for Christmas.  

Initially, Matt and Mona collected the donated toys in their garage. But with the total number of toys and books increasing each year, more storage space was soon needed. A solution came in 2018 when the agency’s office building manager generously pulled through to arrange for extra storage space during the toy drives. 

 

Spreading holiday cheer to deserving kids 4
Two Kurland Insurance staff dressed as elves to distribute toys.

Giving the gift of reading 

 

According to a 2001 study, the availability of books in low-income neighborhoods is about one book per 300 children. This is in stark contrast to the roughly 13 books per child available in middle-class neighborhoods. Providing children’s books to low-income families gives kids a fun and educational way to close the reading gap, improve their academic success and help break the cycle of poverty.  

 

Spreading holiday cheer to deserving kids 6

Mona Kurland picks up a donation of books to fuel the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.

Providing books to kids in low-income communities became even more challenging during the pandemic. So, to further extend a helping hand, Kurland Insurance launched its first book drive campaign in 2021, the “Christmas in July” project, to help bring awareness of the Toys for Tots Literacy Program. This allows the foundation to purchase and donate books to kids before the school year starts. “Helping deliver Christmas gifts to kids is a special mission for us,” said USMC Staff Sgt. Michael Buebe, the Joliet Toys for Tots Coordinator. “But building literacy by delivering books during the summer is the gift that lasts a lifetime in the form of knowledge, confidence and imagination. Every dollar we help to raise for this program puts a book into the hands of a deserving child.” 

 

Building literacy is the gift that lasts a lifetime in the form of knowledge, confidence and imagination.”

– USMC Staff Sgt. Michael BuebeJoliet Toys for Tots Coordinator

 

Spreading holiday cheer to deserving kids 5

The Kurland Insurance office in Orland Park, Ill., with full toy boxes ready to donate to Toys for Tots.

Kindness comes full circle 

 

Several years ago, a client responded to Kurland Insurance’s request for support with a particularly generous donation. With tears in her eyes, the client explained how Toys for Tots had given gifts to her adopted child years before, making it a Christmas to remember. “Reciprocating kindness and generosity are at the core of Toys for Tots,” said marketing director Mona Kurland. “The program is about more than toys. It’s about showing love and support to deserving kids in our community.”  

 

Toys for Tots is about more than toys. It’s about showing love and support to deserving kids in our community. 

– Mona KurlandMarketing Director, Kurland Insurance  

Spreading holiday cheer to deserving kids 2
Matt and Mona Kurland of Kurland Insurance delivering collection boxes to 55 toy drop site locations.

Increasing the Foundation’s impact 

 

As a nonprofit organization coordinated by the Marines, the USMC Toys for Tots Foundation is often short on funds for supplies and collection efforts. If awarded, a $10,000 donation from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance would help buy toys for kids, build more collection boxes to meet demand and support the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.  

 

To vote, share this story using the blue icons to the left, comment below or both. Every vote or comment gets Toys for Tots closer to a $10,000 donation, which will provide deserving children with toys this holiday season. Visit U.S. Marines Toys for Tots Foundation and Kurland Insurance Agency to learn more.

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Lana Oltmans
8 months ago

Amazing work

Drew Marshall
8 months ago

Keep up the great work!

Courtney Pendergrass
8 months ago

A great cause … well deserving!

Maria Thul
8 months ago

Love it!

MARIE E LESTER
8 months ago

Let’s do this!!!

Kristin
9 months ago

Love this!!

Colette
9 months ago

You have the true Christmas spirit!

Ceil
9 months ago

Thank you!

Erin Ridgway
10 months ago

So awesome thanks for all your doing!

Lisa
10 months ago

Thank you for all that you do!

Michell Amerio
10 months ago

This is awesome! You rock Kurland Insurance.

Sally Roth
10 months ago

Blessings to you!

Jamie Daman
10 months ago

Fantastic work!!

kayla
10 months ago

good luck

Jodie Turri
10 months ago

You have got this!!!

KIMBERLY OLSON
10 months ago

Great work by great people! May you be blessed

Danielle Callahan
10 months ago

Good luck!!

Israel
10 months ago

Yay!!! Kurland!!!

Donna Molstad
10 months ago

Good luck!

Rhonda Deavers
10 months ago

Keep up the great work

Jenna Roth
10 months ago

Good luck!

Maria
10 months ago

Wishing you good luck to reach your goal!!

Brandon
10 months ago

What a great cause!

Dawn Lacey
10 months ago

Best of luck!

Stacie Cornfield
10 months ago

I hope you guys reach your goal!

Jill Malkowski
10 months ago

Way to go!! I hope you win!!!

Jen Kavanaugh
10 months ago

Let’s Goooooo!!!!!! Ok

Ashley
10 months ago

Keep up the amazing work! Thanks for everything you do!!

Stacie Cornfield
10 months ago

Good luck!

MARIE E LESTER
10 months ago

We can do this!!!

Ramona Kurland
10 months ago

Thank you, everyone!!!!!!!! Let’s keep the voting going.

Erin
10 months ago

Good luck!

Jessica Ramos
10 months ago

Good luck!

Nicole Nelson
10 months ago

Good luck!

Maria Martinez
10 months ago

Good luck

Renson
10 months ago

Exemplary effort for a great cause

matthew olson
10 months ago

Good luck

Tammy Hickman
10 months ago

Keep it moving on up!

Tim Grochocinski
10 months ago

Great cause. Thank you for all your efforts.

Tammy Hickman
10 months ago

500 need more votes!

Darren Udaykee
10 months ago

Good luck!

Kim
10 months ago

Good luck!!

Cathy Corich
10 months ago

We’re SO close! Thank you to all our supporters!

Patty
10 months ago

Amazing job. Good luck

vicki gomez
10 months ago

Good luck

Jeremy Mitchell
10 months ago

Woot!

Nicole Landis
10 months ago

Go Hook!

Tammy Hickman
10 months ago

Just me again!

Kayla Multon
10 months ago

Good luck!

DAWN Marie NELSON
10 months ago

Goodluck

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