Toys for Tots: How you can help children in need this holiday season

ORLANDO, Fla. — 9 Family Connection is working to make sure every child gets a toy over the holidays, but needs the community’s help.

The annual Toys for Tots campaign is now underway.


Each and every toy donated can make a difference in a child’s life.

“To a child a toy means the world, that toy is everything,” said Staff Sgt. Ash Jacques, coordinator at Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

READ: Toys for Tots 2021 Information

Jacques and volunteers are working around the clock to meet the needs of children across Central Florida.

For more than two decades, WFTV has supported the U.S. Marine Corps Toys For Tots tradition.

Jacques said last year was difficult for the organization.

READ: Publix grocery stores put purchase limits on holiday food items

“We had a reduction in support, donations, and just overall productivity was low,” Jacques said.

The need is even greater this year.

READ: 9 things to do around Central Florida to get in the holiday spirit

“There’s still a lot of people that are in need, that are affected by COVID-19, and lost jobs, they lost everything, and they’re still trying to recover,” Jacques said.

It’s not just the economic hurdles, but the supply chain also brings extra challenges.

READ: Your guide to holiday events in Central Florida

“There’s a backlog on toys. So we’re, we’re really hurting as far as toy numbers,” Jacques said.

You can drop off a new, unwrapped toy at our downtown Orlando studio through Monday, Dec. 13.

Click here for additional information on how to donate in your county.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.