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Video: Toys for Tots Donations off to a Slow Start

The U.S. Marines who run the program say people aren't thinking about Christmas just yet, but the agencies who distribute the toys will need them soon.

The Toys for Tots tent at in Golden Valley opened Dec. 3, and one week later, the U.S. Marines who run the program admit they're concerned.

"We're off to a little slow start," said Sgt. Luke Schleif.

Christmas may be about two weeks away, but the marines say the non-profit agencies need those toys soon in order to get them back to the children who will receive them this year.

"It's always kind of a hail mary effort at the end," Schleif said. "It's pretty hectic. So if people could donate sooner rather than later, that would be great."

Great for distribution sites such as Academy in Golden Valley.  

"We have 75 families, but that's just families," said LoveWorks Academy Director April Harrison. "I can't even tell you how many children that is."

The goal is for each child to receive two toys. The distribution at LoveWorks Academy is scheduled for Dec. 18, so upon hearing news that the Toys for Tots program is off to a slow start, Harrison admitted she's worried.

"We don't want to be nervous about it, so if folks are shopping, pick up those things and drop them off," she said.

Jeff Blom of Plymouth says he'll do just that. Next week.

"A lot of times you get all tied up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays," he said.

Sharon Resnick of Golden Valley donates to Toys for Tots every year. She made her contribution back in November.

"Since I've been doing it, they send me a reminder, and so when it get it in the mail I just send in a check," Resnick said.

Meantime, the marines say they'll accept just about anything right now because of the shortage, but they would love to see more items for infants and female teens.

"So beauty products, hair straighteners, a Twilight book," Sgt. Schleif said. 

Toys for Tots hopes to collect around 350,000 toys, and while they're falling short now, the marines are confident Minnesotans will come through.

Harrison is as well.

"Toys for Tots is important and Minnesotans are great, so help," Harrison pleaded.

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