Toys for Tots in dire need of toys for 10 to 13 year olds - KMSP-TV

Toys for Tots in dire need of toys for 10 to 13 year olds

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Marine Corps is putting out a cry for help for its annual Toys for Tots campaign. With Christmas just a little more than a week away, the marines are running desperately short of toys for older children.

There are literally mountains of toys that have been donated to the marine's annual Toys for Tots program; everything from board games to radio flyers to a child's first bike. But, even with this amazing outpouring of support, there's a catch.

"As you can see, we're doing well on the younger ages but the older kids we're struggling a little," Staff Sergeant George Dixon tells FOX 32.

Sergeant Dixon runs this operation with military efficiency. Now he's putting out an urgent appeal for donations of toys for boys and girls in the 10 to 13 age range.

A huge pile of toys sits in one section for boys between the ages of 3 and 5. The next section over, a little less crowded, is for boys 6 to 9. And the last section, for boys 10 to 13, has just a few boxes.

"Board games, like monopoly and stuff is great," Dixon says. "It's unisex. It can go to either boy or girl. Makeup kits for girls, they like that. Boys like scooters, skateboards, anything like that. We're not asking people to spend too much money. We're just hoping to put something for a kid to unwrap that morning when he wakes up on Christmas."

Last year, Toys for Tots provided presents for 250,000 needy children in the Chicagoland area. With thousands of order slips still to fill, this year could top that.

And with the incredible generosity Chicagoans have already shown, these marines are confident they'll come through again.

"The people of Chicago put a lot of smiles on a lot of kid's faces," says Dixon. "It's an awesome operation."

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The toys must be:

1. New;

2. in the original packaging; and

3. unwrapped.

4. Stuff animals are not preferred.

Drop off your donated toys at the Toys for Tots headquarters located at 3034 West Foster Ave. in Chicago. If it's after 5 p.m., you can use the drop box located behind the building. Donations will be accepted until 11 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18.

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