Lack of 'Toys for Tots' donations cause controversy

Posted at: 12/06/2012 5:07 PM
Updated at: 12/06/2012 5:53 PM
By: WNYT Staff

For decades, the Marine Toys for Tots foundation has been collecting and dispensing toys at Christmas to kids who might otherwise be forgotten. This year, however, there is something of a controversy

A number of local groups that for years have been receiving toys on behalf of their kids say they've been told they will not be getting any toys this year.

Volunteers loaded thousands of toys on board a train that will travel this weekend from Binghamton to the Canadian Border, dropping off toys at eleven stops along the way, but not to the Rensselaer Boys and Girls Club.

Rick Van Vorst of the Rensselaer Boys and Girls Club says they have been getting toys from "Toys for Tots" for as long as he can remember, but just a few weeks ago, Toys for Tots  told him, along with other Boys and Girls Clubs in the region that they no longer qualified.

Jane Reynolds says the Rensselaer Housing Authority requested 174 toys as they've been getting them for years, but are now ruled ineligible.

Bob Becker and the Marine Corps League, a group of retired Marines are running "Toys for Tots" for the first time this year, replacing the marine reserves.

Becker says donations are down and requests for toys are up this year, so Toys for Tots has to be very certain that groups are qualified to receive toys for the kids.

Rensselaer Boys and Girls Club says some of the groups turned down like Rensselaer Housing Authority might not have toys for the kids this year, but the club already took emergency measures.