In Burlington County, It's The 'Toy Man' Who Brings Toys - New York News

In Burlington County, It's The 'Toy Man' Who Brings Toys This Christmas

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A look inside Bill Wilson's townhouse, otherwise known as "Santa's Workshop." A look inside Bill Wilson's townhouse, otherwise known as "Santa's Workshop."
BURLINGTON COUNTY, N.J. -

Santa Claus goes by many names. Some call him ‘ol Saint nick. Others know him as Kris Kringle. But in Burlington county, New Jersey, he's the Toy Man.

We caught up with 74-year-old former Marine Bill Wilson, as he picked up new, unwrapped toys from a Medford Lakes restaurant- one of 31 scheduled stops on this day- for the longtime coordinator of a Burlington County Toys for Tots program.

"We do have soft hearts," says Wilson of Marines. "And we want to take care of the children. That's what this whole thing is about- taking care of the children."

Riding shotgun on the U-Haul truck is Wilson's grandson, a Toys for tots volunteer since he was 6.

"I've been involved since when I believed in Santa Claus and I was little and I was Santa's elf and I helped out."

The pair will soon return to Wilson senior's Mount Laurel townhouse- otherwise known as Santa's workshop.

Here, a half dozen other family members, joined by friends, will distribute some 35,000 toys to around 12,000 kids this Christmas.

Gina Capate runs this well-oiled operation.

Families in need must register to participate. They schedule a day and time to come over- they pick out their own toys- three per child- plus a book and stocking stuffer.

"A lot of cryers, this year," says Capate. "A lot of people, it's their first year- some are embarrassed."

Among the shoppers is Sara Grover of Browns Mills.

Money is tight for her 8-year-old son, and 5-year-old daughter.

"Whenever they see anything on TV, it's 'I want that, I want that, I want that!'"

And what does she tell them?

"We'll see what Santa Clause brings."

And now, thanks to Toys for Tots?

"They pretty much got everything they could want."

"That's what it's all about," says Bill Wilson, aka "The Toyman. "That's why I do it."

A tough economy and Hurricane Sandy have combined to push toy donation down this year. If you'd like to help out a family in need, you can learn how on the Toys for Tots website.

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