Demand up, donations down for Toys for Tots
CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's unusually quiet at the U.S. Marines headquarters in Chicago, which is normally brimming with toys for its annual campaign.
The 2nd battalion, 24th Marines are having a hard time playing Santa Claus for needy kids this year. Donations for their annual Toys for Tots campaign are down.
"Last year we received about four hundred and thirty thousand toys. This year we're at about 200,000," said Gunnery Sgt. Shawn Doty, Toys for Tots U.S. Marine.
The program, which began in 1947, has received some donations. However, due to the economy, the demand for toys is greater and the number of donations is down.
"We are getting hundreds of calls a day requesting, asking if their order is going to be filled. And we can not give them an answer right now," said Gunnery Sgt. Doty.
The Marines are filling as many orders as they can. People who wish to help out with donations can still drop off toys at any Harris Bank or give cash donations at Toys R Us stores. There are some requirements for the toys:
"No used toys, no guns, umm, no stuffed animals, DVD's, VHS, everything must be new and unwrapped," said Gunnery Sgt. Michael Michalski.
No stuffed animals because of possible allergies. The checks-- which can be sent to Toys for Tots, 3034 West Foster, Chicago, IL 60625 -- will be used to purchase toys tax free, which can save big bucks.
The usual spot that's piled high with toys is
"It breaks my heart to know there may be a child out there that's not going to get a gift for Christmas," said Gunnery Sgt. Doty.
Toys for Tots
3034 West Foster
Chicago, IL 60625
local, frank mathie
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