Toys For Tots struggling for donations - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Toys For Tots struggling for donations

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX)  Toys for Tots is in trouble. The U.S. Marine Corps-led effort is struggling locally and nationwide to collect enough toys for underprivileged children this holiday season. This year the toys are going out much faster than the donations are coming in.

"This time last year in the warehouse there was wall-to-wall toys, as far as the eye can see," said Staff Sgt. Adam Britzman.

"We have orders to fill, and we can't fill them. We are literally sitting here waiting for people to drop toys off so we can put them in bags and fill them up," said Michael Harrington, a longtime Toys For Tots volunteer.

Typically there's a surplus of toys at the end of each year and those are saved for the following year and used as a starting point. But last year donations were so low, there was nothing left over. So this year, the charity had to start from scratch.

The warehouse is near empty. You can count the number of donated stuffed animals on one hand and there's almost nothing in the bin for girls aged 5 to 7. Harrington says many people who once donated toys are now in need themselves.

"Many of these people coming to us this year were the same people that gave us toys last year, so for that reason we want to help them because they gave when they had," said Harrington.

Clarence Gallagher is volunteering because he knows what it's like to be without.

"Growing up, at times I was one of those unfortunate kids, so I know how it feels. I like to see a smile on these kids faces when I give them toys or anything they're lacking," said Gallagher.

"The Marines don't know the meaning of the word quit, so we'll fight til the end," said Harrington.

Fight and hope their plea for donated toys will make a difference. Drop off boxes for toys can be found at any local fire department, Toys 'R Us, or Starbucks.

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