Toys for Tots drive still needs your help

Posted at: 12/11/2012 6:31 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Time is running out on this year's Toys For Tots drive in Albuquerque. The Marines will start giving out gifts in two days. But there's one major problem. With 10,000 kids needing toys this year, the Marines still don't have enough. And there's one age group in particular that's been a real struggle.

The goal this year, just like every year, is two gifts for every kid that's registered. The challenge, with only a couple days to go, is buying for the kids who always seem to be the toughest to buy for, according to Gunnery Sergant Lucas Rodriguez.

"Yes, we are still in need. Especially for boys and girls about 8 to 12 years old. It's harder to shop for them. But we are in need of that age group. We are short a lot of toys in that age group right now," Rodriguez said.

Michelle Sena of Albuquerque Community Services is starting to worry if they'll make the goal.

"Right now we're stressing, all of us. I know the Marines are especially trying to make sure they get all these toys in," Sena said.

More than 700 families registered for toys. The Marines will start distributing them Thursday. The clock is ticking and the situation is getting desperate according to Sena.

"It's just that we need these toys. All these families are in need. And this is pretty much what they will be giving their children for Christmas," Sena said.

Gunny Rodriguez is prepared to go all the way to the wire.

"If we've got to go out and purchase toys all the way up to the last day we'll do that," Rodriguez said.

If the Marines need a reminder of why it's so important, all they need to do is look back at a letter they got last year, said Sena.

"Somebody came an dropped off a plate of cookies to us. On the plate was a card. We opened it up. It was a little boy explaining to us, if it wasn't for this program that he does know that he and his brother wouldn't have had anything."

You can still donate toys and gifts through Thursday. The Marines are asking that any donations be taken directly to the convention Center downtown. You can also donate money online anytime, all year long.

For information about the Albuquerque Toys for Tots Foundation, click here.