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Toys for Tots drive slow this year
BY AMY FLOWERS UMBLE
This year's Toys for Tots wish list has grown.
Donations have not.
The requests for toys increase every year, said Staff Sgt. Rodrigo Guzman, and this year, the Marines who work to give toys to needy kids are seeing more than ever.
And while more groups have signed up to be sponsors--hosting drop-off sites and holding toy drives--the toys are trickling in slowly.
"At this point, we're keeping our head above water, but we're barely filling the orders," said Wilma Vaughn, a spokeswoman for the Marine Corps.
Last year, the Quantico Marine Corps' toy campaign gave two toys to every child on the list. This year, each child gets one toy. And organizers still don't know if there will be enough toys for everyone. They especially need toys for infants and children ages 11-14, Vaughn said.
Most other holiday charity programs seem to be doing OK, said Sarah Walsh, volunteer coordinator with the Rappahannock United Way. Most received toys from Toys for Tots.
Each year, there seems to be some reason people can't give as much, she said. This year, high gas prices and foreclosures worry donors.
"But it feels like people always come through in the end," Walsh said.
People do tend to wait until the last minute to give toys, Vaughn said. But this year's campaign has fewer toys than at this time last year.
"We're still hopeful that our community will come through to help others," Vaughn said. "We're grateful for every toy that comes in. That means one more child we can give a better Christmas to."Amy Flowers Umble: 540/735-1973