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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Thousands of Kansas City-area children may go without this Christmas unless the community steps up to help, according to Toys for Tots.

Each year the U.S. Marines’ program collects donated toys and distributes them to underprivileged children. Last year Toys for Tots gave gifts to 33,000 children.

“This foundation gives back, and it has been for about 75 years,” said U.S. Marines GySgt Warren Ory, who is also the Toys for Tots campaign coordinator.

The organization said this year the need is even greater, but donations are not keeping up with the demand.

With just two weeks left in the campaign, Toys for Tots says it is 20,000 toys short of reaching its goal to help 43,000 children this year.

“That’s 20,000 kids who won’t get a Christmas if we’re not able to produce,” Ory said. “We are looking to the community for help.”

The organization said it especially needs toys for children up to age two, and then gifts for kids over the age of 11.

“This year is kind of stressful because the need is so large this year. I feel like if we all come together and work together and donate, we can make that change and make this happen,” Ory said.

Toys for Tots asks anyone who is able to donate a toy to drop it off at the Overland Park Convention Center. The building will be open to take donations Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“With the price of everything soaring, it’s been an extremely tough year for everyone, but we know it will be even harder for the families who rely on Toys for Tots to bring joy to their holiday season,” said Brett C. Mitchell, general manager of the Overland Park Convention Center. 

There are also over 150 drop-off locations around the KC metro. They’re accepting donations until Dec. 15.

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