HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — As we get closer to the holidays, it’s becoming more and more evident that more and more people are struggling financially. For some families it will mean less under the Christmas tree for the kids.
With everything going on in the world right now, it’s no secret that money is tight, so organizations like Hampton Roads Toys for Tots are working to help area non-profits do everything they can to make sure local kids wake up with gifts on Christmas morning, but they need your help.
Toys for Tots is seeing a greater need than ever before. They already have 56,000 Hampton Roads kids on their list this year. That’s double the number of kids they served last year.
“The need is definitely there,” said Toys for Tots area coordinator Sgt. James Criss. “They’re even sadly, I hate to see it, some parents are actually crying over the phone, which I’m just glad we are able to help.”
They are helping supply gifts of all shapes and sizes, from bike to basketballs, board games and Barbie dolls.
Toys are already coming into the distribution center, but if they’re going to help all the kids on the list this year, it’s going to take some Christmas magic and the generosity of Hampton Roads.
“A cheap pair of headphones or something like that can definitely go a long way for some families,” Criss said.
He said they’ve had a few collection events so far, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
And like what many families are experiencing here in Hampton Roads, money just isn’t going as far this year.
“It definitely doesn’t go as far as I wish it would,” Criss said, “but luckily there’s a lot of toy distributers that come together and they’ll actually donate gifts in kind, where we are able to make that money go a little further.”
While the people working to make spirits bright know the need is great, they know the goal is even greater.
“It’s definitely a sense of fulfillment, knowing that not only did the community come together to help provide donations, but also, that we can help others too in the community,” Criss said. “It’s just good to see that a lot of individuals are coming together to create what we know as a community to help everyone.”
Want to help?
Again, the organization is collecting new and unwrapped toys for kids of all ages. There are collection boxes in local stores all over Hampton Roads. The organization is short on donation boxes right now, but said if you’d like to start collecting in your office or classroom, you can use any box you’d like.
You can drop off boxes filled with toys to their donation center in the Old Chesapeake Square Mall at 4200 Portsmouth Blvd. The entrance is across from Red Robin.
If you’d rather help financially, click here.