Coronavirus impact forces 'Toys for Tots' to ask for public's help

Last year, FOX 5 NY's Dari Alexander got a tour of a Brooklyn warehouse packed to the brim with toys for Santa's sleigh.

However, this Christmas season, that same warehouse looks empty.

Santa's helpers say the pandemic has proven difficult when it comes to putting presents under the tree for kids in need.

“The problem we have, it’s a double-edged sword, because COVID created a situation where there are a lot of people in need— more than ever before-- and it’s also harder to get those toys donated,” Staff Sgt. Robert Bacchus of the U.S. Marine Corps tells us.

Bacchus says that this time last year, marines and volunteers had already collected more than 30,000 Christmas presents for New York City’s Toys for Tots campaign.

In 2020, due, in part, to a shortage of volunteers; they have only about half that amount.

The toys even need to be quarantined before they’re cleared to come into the warehouse.

“We have to get toys to our base, put them off to the side, wait, then we can bring them into our warehouse where they get sorted by age and gender,” Bacchus explains.

The demand for gifts and gadgets is still in full swing.

The marines have gotten dozens of letters and Christmas lists,  so they’ve taken their mission to the web for some help.

You can donate a toy online by visiting, selecting an age range and dragging your favorite gift into a virtual toy box.

Bacchus says his goal is to get 100,000 toy donations and continue to spread holiday cheer during this time of uncertainty.

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