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>>

  • Nazi war suspect, 89, dies as extradition OK'd

    Nazi war suspect, 89, dies as extradition OK'd

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:22 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:22:14 GMT
    An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect died in custody hours before a U.S. ruling Wednesday that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial.
    An 89-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect died in custody hours before a U.S. ruling Wednesday that he should be extradited to Germany to face trial.
  • 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 NewsMore>>

  • Dick's Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros

    Dick's Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros

    The western Pennsylvania-based Dick's Sporting Goods chain has laid off 478 Professional Golfers' Association teaching pros months after the company reported that sales of golf gear are dwindling.
    The western Pennsylvania-based Dick's Sporting Goods chain has laid off 478 Professional Golfers' Association teaching pros months after the company reported that sales of golf gear are dwindling.
  • EU regulator: Morning-after pill OK for all women

    EU regulator: Morning-after pill OK for all women

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:51 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:51:47 GMT
    The European Medicines Agency says a commonly used morning-after pill is suitable for use by heavier women after reviewing the evidence, sparked by a French pharmaceutical company's declaration last year that the drugs didn't work in women weighing more than 80 kilograms (176 pounds).
    The European Medicines Agency says a commonly used morning-after pill is suitable for use by heavier women after reviewing the evidence, sparked by a French pharmaceutical company's declaration last year that the drugs didn't work in women weighing more than 80 kilograms (176 pounds).
  • US unemployment aid applications drop to 284,000

    US unemployment aid applications drop to 284,000

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:49:57 GMT
    The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000.
    The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
    The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the iconic Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs.
  • Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Suspect arrested in dismembered Brooklyn woman murder case

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:08:03 GMT
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.
    Police say they arrested and charged a suspect in connection with the murder of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered in Bay Shore. Suffolk County homicide squad and the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Leah Cuevas, 42, on Wednesday night. Cuevas lived on 346 Sumpter Ave. in Brooklyn, the same address as the victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, 27. Cuevas was charged with second-degree murder and held overnight at Suffolk's Fourth Precinct.
  • Bratton: 'not happy'

    NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bridge

    NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bridge

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:48:41 GMT
    The NYPD says they have identified the suspects for the major security breach that had white flags replace the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City, according to the New York Post. Police say they only know the suspects by nicknames, not their legitimate names. They are working on getting their names in order to bring the suspects in for questioning. The Post says nearly three dozen detectives were on the case. 
    The NYPD says they have identified the suspects for the major security breach that had white flags replace the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City, according to the New York Post. Police say they only know the suspects by nicknames, not their legitimate names. They are working on getting their names in order to bring the suspects in for questioning. The Post says nearly three dozen detectives were on the case. 
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 | Terms of Service | Ad Choices