Marines need help making Christmas special for kids

FRESNO, Calif.

Although the public has already donated thousands of toys, Toys for Tots organizers are only halfway to their goal.

Christmas is just a week away and although the Toys for Tots warehouse may have boxes lined up and ready to go, organizers say they still need more to meet the needs of the Valley.

"I'm at about half of what I need," Staff Sgt. William Cardinal said. "Goal is 112,000, I'm at about 60,000. It looks full, it looks amazing and it would put smiles on people's faces, but when you start adding up box to box to box and the numbers, it's not enough."

Toys for Tots organizers say they're now calling agencies that have to tell some families they may not have a merry Christmas.

"Everybody at this point is getting cut 50 percent," Staff Sgt. William Cardinal said. "It's what I have to do. It hurts me inside, it tears me up."

This past month, Marines have been busy collecting donations from events such as ABC30's marathon weekend, which brought in a record amount of toys. But many large businesses have cut back on their giving.

Staff Sgt. William Cardinal said, "The community has done absolutely incredible and they have given more than I would have ever expected."

The silver lining they say is that the community has stepped up.

May Gnia Her said, "We have children that if you could just see their faces on Christmas morning opening their presents from Toys for Tots or when they're getting a toy from a Marine, it just lights up."

In the coming days, Marines will pick up dozens of boxes of toys across the Valley and they're hoping the public will help them in their mission.

You still have time to make a donation to Toys for Tots. You can stop by one of several sites like Hedrick's Chevrolet in Clovis all the way to Thursday, December 20th. Marines say your donation will mean a lot to Valley children this holiday.

Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.