Toys for Tots: There’s still time to help families in need this holiday season

ORLANDO, Fla. — 9 Family Connection wants to give you a look at how you can make Christmas special for kids across Central Florida.

We’ve been telling you about our partnership with Toys for Tots for weeks now.


Channel 9′s Q McCray spoke with some of the families you will be helping by donating this holiday season.

“A lot of them are homeless. They pull up in their cars and that’s all they have,” said Sgt. James Rath with Toys for Tots Orange County.

Laysa Bano appreciates their work.

READ: Toys for Tots 2021 Information

“It’s wonderful. It gives kids the opportunity to have a Christmas,” Bano said.

Every year, Toys for Tots needs donations to make that happen. Besides the toys the Marines already bought, a local warehouse is bare.

“We need toys for 0-2 boys and girls and 6-7 and 11-13 boys and girls,” Rath said.

This is the second program during the pandemic. If last year is any indication, getting enough gifts for the 6,000 Orange County kids registered this year will be a challenge.

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

“Donations are kind of rough right now. We are working around the clock to get a bunch of toys,” Rath said.

Last year, gift bundles families received weren’t as full because donations were down. This year the Marines hope donations are back to pre-pandemic levels.

If you can’t make it to the warehouse on South Orange Blossom Trail, or to a Toys for Tots food drive or to one of Channel 9′s events, remember, you can always make your donation by buying toys online.

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

For more information on how to do that, click here.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.