Toys for Tots helps bring joy to one mother and her family after losing everything in fire

, Fla. — Time is running out to help children in need across Central Florida this holiday season.


9 Family Connection has partnered with Toys for Tots to help fill the need for gifts this year.

Channel 9′s Q McCray spoke with one family who is getting help after they lost everything.

Volunteers at the Toys for Tots warehouse are hard at work helping out the community.

Read: Shop for a Toy - 2022 Toys for Tots

One family said the need for toys is great and they need all the help they can.

Jennifer Mello is a mother who is scrambling to get ready for Christmas with two children to get gifts for, as this year is different from others.

“Right now, it is harder than it’s been because we lost our house,” she said.

Read: Drop Off Locations - Toys for Tots 2022

In February 2020, her home went up in flames and Channel 9 showed the fiery scene on Eyewitness News.

Mello and her family lost all that they owned in the fire.

“Right now, I feel like inflation is killing, having to buy food and gas and toys,” Mello said. “They are double the price they used to be.”

Read: Volunteer Information - Toys for Tots

Every Christmas, the nonprofit Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped gifts for children in need. This year, it needs 1.5 million toys to meet its growing demand.

Mello met all the requirements and will receive presents this year.

But there are still plenty of empty boxes waiting to be filled. If you have the means to help, visit our 9 Family Connection page for information about volunteering, drop-off locations and how to buy toys online.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.