There’s an urgent plea for help to save Christmas for thousands of local children.
Last year, the organization “Toys for Tots” helped 34,000 kids. As of right now, though, they might be able to only help 15,000 kids. They are asking for the public's help in collecting toys, and they’re running out of time.
“I think a child should have a Christmas, if nothing else,” said Toys for Tots president Tom Dertz. “Some of these kids don’t have fathers, come from broken homes.”
Every December, for 41 years, the shelves inside a Bridgeview warehouse are filled with toys for kids in need. This year, the shelves are bare.
“We are short about 2/3rds of what we normally get,” Dertz said.
Volunteers for the Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Organization are working long days to fulfill thousands of kids wishes, for single families and groups from churches and shelters.
Most of the toys come in on the back of motorcycles. Riders in the annual December parade bring an unwrapped toy as a sort of participation fee. Governor Bruce Rauner also rides every year, but this year due to weather, the participation was down and so was the toy count.
Volunteer Gwenn Fox started volunteering after she was a recipient of the program at her church.
“They gave us enough toys for every child in that Christmas party in that church,” she said.
Dertz says they have hundreds of letters left with more expected, and simply not enough items to pass out.
“They are too little to help themselves. You need to reach out and help them, show them there is some goodness in the world,” Dertz said.
For more information on how to be a recipient or where to donate a toy, CLICK HERE