The Toys For Tots campaign run by the Marine Corps Reserve has been an existence since 1947, and is substantial enough that First Lady Michelle Obama raised awareness about its mission by visiting an organization service project Tuesday at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.
Not all efforts to raise money for Toys for Tots are as straightforward, though.
An Arkansas strip club known as Platinum Cabaret is holding a “Toys for Tatas” event this month in which patrons who donate a toy are offered two-for-one lap dances.
The effort was first reported by KHBS TV-5, a local news station in Arkansas. It’s making its way around the web today, with major outlets like the Huffington Post also reporting the effort.
A Toys for Tots coordinator told the TV station that as long as toys are collected in a legal manner, “we don’t get into how they were gathered or what the process was.”
Toys for Tots hasn’t always held that point of view in the past, however.
As Marine Corps Times reported in 2010, the organization declined to accept money collected by Terminal Lance cartoonist Maximilian Uriarte. The organization was hesitant to make the cartoon an official sponsor in part because of its risqué content.
“Many who donate to us are in older demographic groups,” Grein told Marine Corps Times at the time. “We have to be concerned about how they are going to interpret some of our sponsors.”
Uriarte, a Marine veteran, has since signed a deal with Marine Corps Times to have strips published in the newspaper each week.
In the Toys for Tatas case, things appear to be less complicated because the donations are actual toys, rather than online monetary contributions. Still, it’s an interesting contradiction.