Time’s almost up to help the Marines ‘Stuff the Sleigh’ for families in need this holiday season

ORLANDO, Fla. — Toys for Tots is in desperate need of donations to help make sure local children in need have gifts to open this Christmas.

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The United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign in Orange County is still busy collecting new, unwrapped toys from donors, but time is running out, and organizers say the need this year is greater than it’s ever been.

READ: ‘We don’t have enough’: Supply chain issues leave local toy drives in desperate need of donations

“For some reason, we aren’t where we need to be,” said Aaron Rap of Toys for Tots. “With one week left, we should be at 85 percent, but we’re at 40. We are nowhere near where we need to be.”

In years past, the Marines have given as many as six gifts per child. This year, that number could drop to just two.

Bryan Edwards of Ferran Services & Contracting says they’ve contributed to Stuff the Sleigh for 10 years.

“Our company is like a family, and our community is our extended family,” Edwards said.

Thank you to Ferran Services for delivering hundreds of bikes today for Toys for Tots! The warehouse had NO bikes in it as of this morning. Thank you to everyone who has donated this year to the campaign and to those who have come today to our Stuff the Sleigh event. We are here until 5pm today at WFTV Channel 9!

Posted by WFTV 9 Family Connection on Friday, December 10, 2021

Donor Bill Koch says, for him, this was the right time to give.

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“We have two jobs, two cars, and two homes,” Koch said. “If we didn’t give this, we probably would never give.”

While every toy helps, organizers say gifts of cash, like the one donor Sandi Sullivan made Friday, can have a more immediate impact on their mission.

“This is a great charity, and I want to give money and help everybody have a great Christmas,” Sullivan said as she dropped off her donation.

Toys for Tots organizers say while the number of donations across Central Florida has fallen, the number of registered families has continued to rise.

Those who weren’t able to participate in Friday’s Stuff the Sleigh event will still have until Monday to deliver a new, unwrapped toy to Channel 9 studios at 490 East South Street in Downtown Orlando.

READ: Meet Madeline: A symbol of the good cause behind the Greg Warmoth Reindeer Run

For more information on how to contribute or volunteer click here.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.