Toy donations needed for Tyler Firefighters toy drive

TYLER (KYTX) - Thousands of kids in East Texas would go without anything to open on Christmas morning if not for donations.

But those donations aren't coming in.

Firefighters say a whole storage unit usually would be filled with toys for kids by this time.

Now they're hoping people will pitch in and help kids in Smith County this Christmas.

When you open up this storage unit and take a look inside, you'd think it's a lot of toys.

But this year, they have a fraction of the number of toys they need to give to more than 2,000 children in Smith County.

"Things seem a little slower than normal. Usually the last 2 weeks or week and a 1/2 a lot of people bring a lot of toys in. We always count on that, but 2 years ago we didn't have enough toys," says Glynn Ray with the Tyler Fire Department.

And Ray wants to ensure that doesn't happen again.

The collections go to help the Salvation Army, and the kids that are on their angel tree.

"With the economy, naturally comes more people in need of more," says Chantel Millan with the Salvation Army.

Millan says there are 800 kids left to adopt on the tree this year, with 2,300 kids who were signed up, in hopes they would have gifts under the tree.

"Kids expecting something for Christmas and parents concerned how to make that happen, and all it takes is one person to find it in their heart that I just want to make one families Christmas this year," says Millan.

Making Christmas possible, like in years past, with toys, games and bikes, through the giving nature of East Texans.

"Firemen has big hearts and we want to help kids. The more toys they bring in for kids, the better off they'll be. We like to see kids happy," says Ray.

If you would like to help, it's as easy as dropping by any of the 9 Tyler Fire Departments that are accepting donations.

Usually it would end a few weeks before Christmas, however, they say they'll take toys until December 20th this year, if they need more donations.

The Tyler Fire Department toy drive has a 20 year history with the Salvation Army.

Toys can be for children ages 2 though 14, and should be unwrapped when donated.


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