NORTH BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) —- It’s a holiday tradition that has been around for more than 60 years. The Marine Corps annual Toys for Tots campaign gives children who might not otherwise get gifts a chance at a happy holiday. But this season might not be as bright as years past due to a lack of donations.
According to the Marine Toys for Tots foundation, the warehouse in North Branford will be closed until this Saturday for restocking.
“This year we were supposed to be open from last Wednesday until this coming Sunday. Unfortunately, due to the lower than anticipated donations we received we had to cut it short,” said Captain Christopher Dippel, United States Marine Corps.
The warehouse will temporarily be closing until this weekend so that they can restock on toys. Their updated hours of operation is as follows:
- December 17th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (for last names A – M)
- December 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (for last names N – Z)
The foundation notes that they are doing their best to satisfy requests and that children over 11 years of age may only receive board games due to a lack of donations for that age group. Children may also only receive 1 or 2 toys depending on availability.
Dippel says the New Haven and Middlesex Counties branch for Toys for Tots typically serves about 7500 area kids. On an average year they collect more than 70-thousand toys and the extras support other non-profit organizations. So far they’ve only been able to give donations to about half of the families registered this year.
“The idea is if we can stock as many toys as we can this week we’ll be able to get enough volunteer staff here on the weekend and as long as the toys are there to support the family we’ll be able to support everyone else,” said Dippel. “The unfortunate reality is we may have to tell families we don’t have the toys to support your request at this time which of course we don’t want to do. It is Christmas after all.”
If you would like to donate to help this cause, please visit toysfortots.org.