FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The holidays are still several weeks away, but one local non-profit is already encountering significant hurdles this season.
Marine Toys for Tots, a group that collects and donates toys to families facing economic hardships, has already started their collection campaign. However, the group is still searching for a property to house thousands of toys over the next several weeks.
“We’ve contacted several different businesses, real estate companies, and it seems like the demand is high, and there’s a lack of space out there for us to be able to host,” said Donald Emert, the Toys for Tots Coordinator for Allen County, Steuben County and DeKalb County.
If the local Toys for Tots group is unable to find a space to house their toys, all the toys would be stocked between two semi trucks and transported from house to house. This creates logistical issues, but Emert says he is prepared for that scenario.
Along with the lack of a storage facility, Emert fears the amount of toys donated this year will dip due to ongoing supply chain issues. Last year, Emert said the local Toys for Tots chapter donated enough toys for over 8,000 kids – an average of four to five per family. Based on what he has heard from vendors, Emert is concerned that there will not be enough toys to meet or surpass last year’s goal.
As Emert addresses logistical challenges, he is encouraging families to donate new toys or make a monetary donation over the next several weeks.
“Whatever their situation or circumstances might be this year, we’re still here to help anybody and everybody put a present on the tree for their child,” Emert said.
Those who would like to request a Toys for Tots donation can fill out a request form from today until Nov. 5.