As organizers prepare for Toys for Tots, the annual Christmas toy drive for children in need, there still is one big problem. They have no place to store the donations.
"It's getting to be desperate," said coordinator Joyce Buckingham.
Buckingham said the organization needs a space of at least 5,000 square feet.
"I would prefer 10,000 (square feet), but I'm willing to take whatever I can get," she said.
The space will be used to collect and sort the donations, she said, as well as serve as headquarters to distribute the toys to the families.
She said they typically serve four to six families every 15 minutes during normal distribution hours.
"So we need a place that has parking," she explained.
Last year, she said, Toys for Tots provided Christmas gifts to 5,500 children and she expects at least that many to be in need again this year.
The organization could rent its own space, but that would come at a cost.
"If I put money out to rent a place, that's money I need to buy toys for the kids," she said.
Toys for Tots will take care of the insurance of the warehouse while in use as well as the utilities, she said.
"We keep it clean," she said. "We clean it cleaner than it was when we showed up."
She said bins have already started going up in the 70 drop-off locations around town to collect donations, with the annual Giving Weekend drives planned Nov. 23-24 and Dec. 15-16 at both Walmarts.
She said she hopes to find a warehouse within the week.
"We have a tremendous amount of need in the community," she said. "We want to get out there and take care of these kids."
You Can Help
To donate warehouse space to the Toys for Tots campaign, contact coordinator Joyce Buckingham at 775-884-2269.