Write-up & Photo by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com

LCPL Robert Cote and John Clark of the Marine Corps League collected Toys for Tots at the Governor’s Residence Holiday Open House 

With just ten days to Christmas, Toys for Tots reports a shortage of 10,000 toys to meet this year’s need in Connecticut. That is despite collection drives such as a recent one at the Governor’s Residence Holiday Open House.

Word went out on the broadcast airwaves yesterday along with appeals for help from throughout the state.

For example, in Vernon where the need is said to be up, worried volunteer firefighters organizing collections there, say donations are down. Bins at the station are half empty and some of the dozen collection boxes around town are bare – such was the case with one at Rein’s Deli. Overall, only twelve toys for babies had been collected and the situation was comparable for other age groups. A spokesperson from the local Subaru dealership noted they typically fill a couple of cars out their sunroofs with bags of donated toys, but not so this year.(Check out the video “Needy Tots Outnumber Donated Toys” at NBC Connecticut news; and Toys for Tots Needs Toys -WFSB). FYI-the Vernon Public Safety & Ambulance Complex is located at 280 West Road.

Organizers in other towns who ‘assist Santa’s elves’ are experiencing similar shortages. Surely, Rudolph, Dancer, Vixen and the rest of the reindeer team are resting up for their big night, and, for anyone interested in helping to make a child’s Christmas merry, undoubtedly, there is plenty of room in Santa’s sleigh.

The United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program supplements local toy drives with a mission to “provide a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas.” In Connecticut, the 2011 Toys for Tots campaign goal is 39,000 toys. Monetary donations, via credit card, can be made online or by mail, a downloadable form is available from their website. Tribute and memory donations can also be made.