Toys for Tots Donations Down

November 25, 2008 8:55:41 PM PST
Organizers for the Valley's annual Toys for Tots fundraiser are issuing an urgent call for donations. The fear is, thousands of needy children won't get a Christmas gift this year.Sergeant Jeremiah Noble and his men are on a mission, to fill an entire warehouse with toys: "Last year this whole thing would've been filled, the entire warehouse." But the emptiness, this close to Christmas is disheartening. Sgt. Noble: "If I were to stop the campaign right now, and hand out the toys to all the organizations, they would all get about 7% of what they're asking for."

The Marine Corps received orders for 160,000 toys. They've collected only about 12,000 so far, not even close to meeting this year's need. Sgt. Noble explains, "Everything is down this year. We understand, we know, it just hurts us, because we know people can't give as much but more people need as well."

Linda Dippel with United Way coordinates the hundreds of applications that come in from non-profit groups all over the valley. The groups represent the thousands of children that rely on the generosity of the valley every Christmas. Dippel takes her task very seriously: "It's very very important for every child to have that little bit of Christmas hope and spirit that they can live with for the rest of the year."

The Toys for Tots marathon weekend kicks off next Friday, December 5th. You can help by bringing by a new, unwrapped toy for a child in need. If you don't have the time to shop, cash is even better! The Marine Corps does all of the purchasing of the toys in bulk. For every dollar you give, they can more than double that dollar. And every dollar that's from a business Pelco has promised to match.

Organizers are confident: the Valley will definitely deliver: "We're going to pray and hope and beg and plead, please help us out this year."

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