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Coca-Cola Teams Up With Consumers to Donate 100,000 Gifts to Toys For Tots

Posted Jan 14 2009 8:49pm

The story of how Toys for Tots got its start is inspiring. It involves a charitable couple and a Raggedy Ann doll. I presented that story earlier this week in a keynote speech I gave at an annual event hosted by the Portsmouth Community Foundation.

We now have another way to help Toys for Tots put additional toys in the arms of children in need. Coca-Cola is allowing you to donate My Coke Reward points to The Toys for Tots organization. Read the press release below to learn how you can make your contribution.

Toys for tots train from Coca-cola bottle caps

Artist Nathan Sawaya Unveils Original Sculpture of Toys for Tots Train Made From Coca-Cola Bottle Caps

ATLANTA, November 29, 2007 – Coca-Cola® is donating 100,000 gifts to Toys for Tots the holiday season and is asking consumers to help make that number grow even larger.

From now through the end of the year, My Coke Rewards points found under caps and on packaging of more than 60 products from Coca-Cola North America can be donated to Toys for Tots at www.mycokerewards.com. As the donations accumulate, Toys for Tots will redeem the points for gifts such as soccer balls, Etch-A-Sketch® drawing toys, and backpacks. To help offer even more gifts to kids, Coca-Cola is also donating an additional $150,000 to Toys for Tots.

“Both Toys for Tots and Coca-Cola have been uplifting and magical parts of the holiday season for decades. This year we’re joining together and asking people to help us make the holidays brighter for kids,” said Hendrik Steckhan, president and general manager, Sparkling Beverages, Coca-Cola North America. “When families and friends enjoy Coca-Cola as part of their holiday celebrations, we encourage them to take a minute to go online and use their My Coke Rewards points to support Toys for Tots.”

To commemorate the partnership with Toys for Tots, Coca-Cola commissioned New York-based sculptor Nathan Sawaya to create two original pieces of art made from thousands of bottle caps. Best known for his works featuring LEGO® bricks, Sawaya has incorporated more than 43,000 bottle caps to create an oversized replica of the iconic Toys for Tots train and a mosaic depicting the famous Coca-Cola Polar Bear. The sculptures, which are Sawaya’s first bottle cap creations, remind people to donate My Coke Rewards points found under their bottle caps to Toys for Tots.

“The goal of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to deliver a message of hope to underprivileged children during the holiday season,” said Bill Grein, vice president of Marines Toys for Tots Foundation. “Through support from partners like Coca-Cola that understand the value of giving, we are able to fulfill the dreams of thousands of children each year.”

Joined by members of the U.S. Marine Corps, Sawaya unveiled his sculptures at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta this morning. The Toys for Tots train measures 18-feet long by four-feet tall and the Polar Bear mosaic measures eight-feet long by six-feet tall. The sculptures will remain on display through the end of the year to encourage people to check under Coca-Cola bottle caps for My Coke Rewards points they can donate to Toys for Tots. At the end of the holiday season, the train will be relocated to the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation in Quantico, Virginia.

My Coke Rewards point codes can be found on bottle caps and inside multi-packs of Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Sprite, Fanta, DASANI, POWERade, and many other brands. People can visit www.mycokerewards.com to donate points to Toys for Tots through the end of the year. Members also can redeem their points year-round for exclusive rewards and unforgettable experiences.

Coca-Cola is bringing the joy of the holidays to people across the country in a number of other ways this season, including:

  • Vintage Glass Bottles – Celebrating timeless refreshment for the holidays, Coca-Cola is available in special vintage glass bottles that replicate the design of the 1899 “Hutchinson” bottle. With a straight-sided shape, the 1899 bottle was the first to feature the Coca-Cola logo. The bottles are available in six-pack carriers featuring an image of the Coca-Cola Santa.
  • Holiday Packaging – Coca-Cola multi-packs and multi-liter packages include an image of the Coca-Cola Polar Bear presenting Santa with a bottle of Coke tied with a bow. Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero packaging includes festive images of ornaments and gifts.
  • Holiday Caravan – Decorated with 25,000 twinkling lights and the Coca-Cola Santa image, the five semi-trucks of the Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan are spreading holiday cheer across the country. At each stop, visitors can send a greeting to Santa’s workshop through the Toys for Tots “North Pole Outpost.” For every letter received, Coca-Cola will donate $1 to Toy for Tots, up to $25,000.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five nonalcoholic sparkling beverage brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light beverages, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1.4 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

About Toys for Tots

The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit public charity, is the authorized fund raising and support organization for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation provides the funding and support needed for successful annual toy collection and distribution campaigns. The Foundation is located at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia. Local Marine Corps Reserve units and volunteer organizations collect and distribute toys in more than 600 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

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