With Christmas Days Away, Toys For Tots Struggles To Meet Demand - New York News

With Christmas Days Away, Toys For Tots Struggles To Meet Demand

Posted: Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

There's a great need to make sure children wake up Christmas morning with something under the tree.

But times are hard, and donations are down.

In this video report, FOX 29's Bruce Gordon has what you can do to assist.

If this, the armory in Center City, is Santa's Village, then this bearded gentleman, must surely be Santa.

"Tell your children you love them. "Thank you, ma'am," says Retired Navy Captain Howard Serlick, who runs this Philly Toys For Tots operation.

That includes everything from coordinating distribution – "Merry Christmas, get your toys and get out!" he says, drawing laughs – to feeding his hungry elves.

"One large pepperoni," he calls out. "One large sausage..."

In a typical year, nearly a 100,000 donated toys will flow out of this building to wide-eyed kids whose parents, if they have them, can't afford a tree, much less the gifts beneath it.

Yani Williams' Your A.O.K. Foundation brings food, clothing and furniture to low-income families. She just arrived to pick up her Toys For Tots goodies for her young clients.

"Oh, my goodness, they're going to be ecstatic," Williams said. "They're going to be happy. The parents, you know, the pressure is off."

But this year, the pressure is on.

Santa, er, Serlick says toy donations are barely half of what they were last Christmas, and it's getting late.

"We're in big trouble," he said. "Literally, I haven't seen it this bad."

Serlick says he has no idea why donations are down, just that they are.

And that's forcing Toys For Tots to turn down some groups, limit distribution to others and leave the rest hanging.

"We don't want to make promises to people that we can give them toys when we don't have the toys. So, we put them in 'pending' status. And, as you can see, we're on the precipice of Christmas."

Gordon said, "You've got a lot of pending."

"I've got a lot of pending," Serlick answered.

Toys For Tots is particularly short on gifts for older girls, aged 13 to 16.

But throughout the building, there are too many empty boxes, each one symbolizing a child who may have to go without.

Serlick reflects back on his own childhood, saying, "I had great holidays. I want other people to have that. It's not a crime to be a poor child."

It is not too late to donate gifts or cash to the Toys For Tots effort. All local donations are distributed locally.

One reminder: No toy guns.

You can drop of toys at the Armory on 22 South 23st or Click here for a link to the Toys For Tots program.

You just might be able to make a real happy Christmas for a deserving child.

 

  • Bruce Gordon ReportsMore>>

  • Baby That Needs Specialized Formula Receives Overwhelming Support

    Baby That Needs Specialized Formula Receives Overwhelming Support

    Thursday, August 14 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-08-15 01:59:13 GMT
    Insurance policies have rules governing what's covered and what's not. Generally, they make sense. The rules are designed to prevent unreasonable costs from being passed along to the insurer, and by extension to other insurance customers. But listen to Sheree Kober's story. 
    Insurance policies have rules governing what's covered and what's not. Generally, they make sense. The rules are designed to prevent unreasonable costs from being passed along to the insurer, and by extension to other insurance customers. But listen to Sheree Kober's story. 

  • Getting Results: Resident Fed Up With Living Next To Vacant Home

    Getting Results: Resident Fed Up With Living Next To Vacant Home

    Wednesday, June 11 2014 10:24 PM EDT2014-06-12 02:24:23 GMT
    Fox 29 is working to get results for one local woman who fears for her safety.In a region filled with rowhomes, a homeowners’ worst nightmare is the home next door becoming vacant, and slowly disintegrating.Sharon Redwood says she's owned her home on West 6th Street in Chester, Delaware County, for most of her adult life.She says the place next door has been vacant for years.It’s become an eyesore, and a dangerous one at that."The roof has fallen from the third floor, down to the basement. (F...
    Fox 29 is working to get results for one local woman who fears for her safety.In a region filled with rowhomes, a homeowners’ worst nightmare is the home next door becoming vacant, and slowly disintegrating.Sharon Redwood says she's owned her home on West 6th Street in Chester, Delaware County, for most of her adult life.She says the place next door has been vacant for years.It’s become an eyesore, and a dangerous one at that."The roof has fallen from the third floor, down to the basement. (F...
  • Philadelphia Police Says #NoSavesies To Public Parking

    Philadelphia Police Says #NoSavesies To Public Parking

    Wednesday, January 29 2014 7:10 PM EST2014-01-30 00:10:03 GMT
    It follows major snowstorms like day follows night, the practice of using old junk to save the parking space you just dug out!
    It follows major snowstorms like day follows night, the practice of using old junk to save the parking space you just dug out!
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:20:23 GMT
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
  • Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:00:24 GMT
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a...
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
  • Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:15 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:15:54 GMT

    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.


    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.



Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices