AUSTIN, Texas - For 75 years, the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots nonprofit has been helping families provide gifts for their children on Christmas.
With just weeks until Christmas, the Austin campaign is asking for the community’s help.
After collecting donations from individuals and businesses that host drop boxes, the organization distributes some of the toys to local nonprofits. What’s leftover is what will be available when up to 1,800 registered families are expected to come through the door next week.
"[The warehouse] usually a lot more full," said Maj. Jeremiah Dennis, inspector-instructor for Weapons Company, 1st Bn, 23rd Marines. "We've cleared out all the nonprofits, which took a lot of our toys away, and so now we're playing this guessing game….we have 800 boxes located in the city right now, and we don't know how full they're going to be, so there may be a shortage on some toys for certain ages."
Dennis said one of their biggest needs is for boys and girls ages 0-2 years old. Another thing they could really use are bikes.
Those interested in donating toys can search for the nearest drop-off location using their zip code. Dispersed drop boxes will be picked up starting Thursday, Dec. 8. After this week, donations can be dropped off directly at the main warehouse after calling (512) 773-2405.
Families will start stopping by the warehouse to pick up toys on Dec. 14.
Volunteers are also still needed. Those interested in helping organize or distribute toys to families can click here for more information.