DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Families filed in for the last day of Santa’s workshop in Vermilion County.
Danville’s Toys for Tots ended the season on a high note after record-low donations. Parents rolled out with bikes and bags of gifts with just days to spare.
Families waited in line at Saint James United Methodist Church to get their last-minute Christmas help.
“There are so many families that come in and tell you that, ‘We just don’t have anything this year,'” said Danville’s Toys for Tots Coordinator Megan Montgomery.
That’s the case for mother of four Tazarae Burton.
“This has helped me and mom tremendously because without Toys for Tots we wouldn’t know what we do,” said Burton.
This Christmas she found herself with a newborn and back at home with her mom. But thanks to these donated toys, kids in families like hers won’t have to feel how tough the year has been.
“You know, they feel lost. And then they come to Toys for Tots, and they make sure you have everything and anything your kids need for Christmas,” added Burton.
Only this time around, that almost didn’t happen.
“We haven’t gotten nearly as much as we normally get,” said Montgomery.
This year’s need for toys was dramatically high, but Montgomery said the donations were at an unusual low. They were 75% less.
“Fortunately, we found some really good deals early in the year that allowed us to make sure we had enough toys this year,” added Montgomery.
It’s Telecia Dockery’s first time receiving donated gifts and after a long year, it’s Toys for Tots she thanks for being the Santa to her kids’ wish list.
“Like it really puts a big smile on their face, especially when you see them open their gifts. Especially when they open their gift and it’s what they want,” said Dockery.
Even though they didn’t reach their donation goals she was thankful to the community for giving what they could. This year they were able to service an extra 200 kids, but next year she hopes to have more donations.