Western Mass News is once again proud to sponsor the United States Marine Corp's Toys for Tots campaign.
This year, the need is greater than ever.
The number of local families applying for help this Christmas is already surpassing last year, but local Marines said they're ready!
The magic happens at the local Toys for Tots secret headquarters, or as the Marines like to think of it, Santa’s western Mass. workshop.
“So everything has to come through here. Either the toys that are donated or shipped from the foundation. They all come here and get sorted and distributed from this site,” said Sgt. Eric Morin.
Donations are already coming in. Once they are delivered, Marines from Westover Air Reserve Base sort each item by age group and gender.
You may notice that some of the bins are a bit empty.
“The challenge this year and every year is the 12-year-old plus girls and the 12-year-old plus boys. Mainly because of this day and age, a lot of it is tech driven, which makes it a little more difficult to shop for.“
Not to mention a little more expensive to shop for.
Plus, Sgt. Morin told Western Mass News that it’s hard to know if the home the gift is going to has access to such things, as the internet or cell phones.
And the list of families applying for help this Christmas keeps growing.
“So right now, the total number of families that have applied is 766, which is what we're already over what we did last year for single families.”
But Sgt. Morin is not panicking.
“The need keeps growing, but we're Marines, so we're used to the pressure, so we'll able to take care of it.”
“Just the overwhelming thank-yous that we receive-- that kind of brings a warm spot in your heart-- makes you tear up, because they know that we're making a difference in the community.“
Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.