‘Toys for Tots’ in dire need of donations; here’s how you can help this weekend

ORLANDO, Fla. — With about a week left in the Toys for Tots campaign, operations are getting busy at warehouses around Central Florida.


On Friday, volunteers continued unpacking, stacking and building toys.

The Marines are in charge of counting toys and keeping a tally.

But as of Friday, the collection drive was falling way short of where organizers had hoped it would be.

“Today a year ago, we were at 110,000 toys. Right now, we are looking at just over 30,000. When you are looking at the numbers, that’s 80,000 less than what we had last year today,” Sgt. Gustavo Guerrero told Channel 9.

READ: Toys for Tots: Your support will help brighten the life of a child this holiday season!

With that huge shortfall, the warehouse for Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties has only enough toys to give one to every registered child.

Toys for Tots’ goal is to give each child 4 to 5 toys.

“We just got enough for one toy per kid. I want to thank the community for that, but we are pushing for more,” Guerrero said.

The campaign desperately needs donations.

There are several ways you can help. And soon.

READ: Greg Warmoth helps runners lace up for annual ‘Reindeer Run’ to support local families

Greg Warmoth’s Reindeer Run is a great place to donate a toy.

While participants run or walk the 3-mile route through Sea World Saturday, Channel 9 will also be collecting Toys for Tots donations.

Stop by the “Santa Saturday” event at Channel 9 headquarters in Downtown Orlando.

READ: On Dec. 9: ‘Santa Saturday’ returns at WFTV studios in Orlando

We’ll make it easy, quick and fun to drop off your toys -- and you can even meet jolly old St. Nick in person.

Channel 9′s Q McCray talked to the man in red himself about his upcoming appearance at Santa Saturday.

“I will be there from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and you can drop by and put some toys in those boxes. We want to make sure all the kids in Central Florida wake up with the joy of Christmas.”

If you can’t make it out this weekend, shopping and donating can be done online, and you can even choose the county you live in.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.