911 W. Steven Martin Toy Drive
History of W. Steven Martin’s Police Toy Drive & Memorials
Working to Improve the Lives of Children and Law Enforcement Officers
The new toy warehouse located in Chandler, AZ
For as long as Phoenix radio personality W. Steven Martin can remember, Christmastime always has meant hundreds of requests for help from listeners of his radio program. In 1989, an unwieldy process of trying to grant the Christmas wishes of hundreds of needy families became manageable when local law enforcement officers were enlisted to distribute toys to children in need and at-risk families around Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun. Toys were stockpiled in the garage, and police officers from agencies around the Valley stopped by to select gifts for children and adolescents from families in neighborhoods the officers knew well. The thought was that by allowing these young people to see the police in a new light, one of giving and caring, that bonds would be formed between law enforcement and the tiniest victims of crime and poverty, thus helping to break the cycle of hate and fear that seemed to exist.
More and more officers heard of the program and wanted to participate. Corporate sponsors signed on as toy partners, a warehouse was donated, computers tracked the number of officers involved, and the program expanded statewide. In 1996, over 700 officers helped distribute more than 120,000 toys to children around the State of Arizona. And the praises from police departments poured in. This program has helped improve images and has brought about noticeable changes in neighborhoods.Contact W. Steven Martin if you would like information about starting a toy drive at your company to benefit the Police Memorials and Toy Drive 501 c(3) non-profit organization.
For more info. on the 911 Toy Drive visit there website at: http://www.911toydrive.com/