Toys for Tots struggling with toy donations
OCALA, Fla.-- With the holiday season getting into full swing, many charitable organizations are looking for toy donations to make a child's Christmas just a little bit better.
But, one of them is having some difficulties.
At the DeLuca Toyota in Ocala, U.S. Marine Corps poolees and officers met with employees for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots toy collection.
Hundreds of the toys collected on Friday afternoon will be delivered to children all over Marion County right before Christmas.
Coordinator Patrick Joynt tells TV20 the partnership between the dealership and Toys for Tots has been an ongoing one.
"DeLuca and I, we've been partners for about four to five years npw. They supply us with toys, probably a generous amount of toys every year," he says.
But, he also touched on the fact that donations to Toys for Tots are actually down for the first time in years.
Joynt says they're down about 30 percent from where they need to be when those toys go out to families on December 18th.
When toys are taken to the Toys for Tots warehouse in Ocala, they are broken down by age group and are put in boxes.
Joynt says in past years, there are usually about four to five boxes per age group around this time of year.
But now, there are only about two or three per age group.
Steve McCoy, a DeLuca employee and former Marine, stressed the importance of getting the right number of toys so no one misses a Christmas.
"It almost means like... you know what? Here's a way to put it- if I was going to have a Christmas, it would put a smile on my face if someone gave me, you know, if I had presents to open under my tree," he says.
Joynt also touched on where they're struggling the most.
"The biggest need is for infants, male and female, newborns to two years old, and then on up to male and female children from nine years old all the way up to 13 years old, as well."
The Toys for Tots drive is going on at collection sites all over Marion County, primarily at most Walgreens stores and Regions Bank locations.
The drive ends on December 11.
You can find more information on Toys for Tots and where to donate here.
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