Despite decrease in donations, Toys for Tots still sending gifts to 30,000 local kids

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BELTON, Mo. — Boxes and red bags filled with toys sit in a Belton warehouse.

Despite the pandemic, Kansas City Toys for Tots said they were slowly able to draw needed donations and volunteers this year.

“This year, donations were down significantly. We were just a little bit worried we weren’t going to be able to fill all of the requests. The Kansas City community just came through huge,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jacob McCormack, the coordinator.

McComack said events for Toys for Tots are down more than 50% compared to last year; many were canceled or not planned at all because of the pandemic.

But companies who canceled events chose to donate money instead.

This year alone, Toys for Tots says they are assisting 200 organizations across the metro, giving at least one toy to 30,000 children.

The challenge now is getting the 37,000 toys out in time for Christmas, relying on volunteers more than ever.

“It’s been a lot of fun walking down the aisles, seeing what these kids are going to play with. I saw a purple basketball that was really cool,” packaging volunteer Lauren Coleman said. “I think this is important, the work the Marines do and Toys For Tots to support our kids in need to give them a Christmas, this is really, really, important, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Organizers believe this year more families than ever will need a little help putting something under their tree for Christmas.

“We just try to do as much as possible for these kids. Somebody needs to stand up for them, and somebody needs to do something right by them,” McCormack said.

Packaging and sorting is set to resume on Dec. 21 and 22. For more information or to find a way to get involved, call 816-843-3537 or visit this site.

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