LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Toys for Tots tells WINK News they are in dire need of help this holiday season. A spokesperson for the organization says it’s difficult to get gifts for the older kids.
Just shy of 1,700 families applied for help to get some presents under the tree.
Donations arrive at a Cape Coral warehouse where Santa’s elves, disguised as volunteers, help sort it all out.
“We want to see smiles on the children’s faces Christmas morning and be surprised at the gifts that they receive,” said volunteer Beverly Noble.
“Right now as it stands, for the 8-12 age group, we can only give them one toy. We want to give them two or three,” said Major Cheryl Gilliam, coordinator of Lee County’s Toys for Tots.
Toy donations are sorted and separated for boys and girls.
Gilliam says although the gifts are for the kids, they are perhaps more meaningful to the parents.
“It’s really neat to see a parent who really can’t supply Christmas for their children to come in and see that they get a choice of what it is. It’s like going to a store. They can go and kind of pick out a couple or three gifts for their kids and their expression is priceless,” said Gilliam.
The parents of almost 8,000 children in the county applied for help.
“I think what we really wanna do is keep hope alive. That’s what Christmas is really about, hope,” said Gilliam.
Donations are due by December 20. Suggested gifts for the older age group are electronics, or even age-appropriate makeup for girls.