"I'm worried we're going to be short." Toys for Tots Kent Co. struggles to keep up with record-high demand
Toys for Tots Kent Co. has more than 11, 200 kids on its list this Christmas. Coordinator Jeffrey DeJonge said it's the largest number the county’s branch has ever recorded, surpassing it’s previous record by around 500.
Toys for Tots of Kent County is working hard to bring gifts to more than 11, 200 kids this Christmas. Coordinator Jeffrey DeJonge said this is the largest number the county’s branch has ever recorded, surpassing it’s previous record by around 500.
“The highest we’ve ever done is 10,700, so our numbers are higher," DeJonge explained, "There’s a few more days left of registration, so that number is gonna go up some more.”
However, donations haven’t risen along with the need. They’re down this Christmas for the second year in a row, with most of the branch's reserve budget depleted.
"Usually we have a nice little cushion, but because of COVID we’ve been dwindling down…we’re kind of getting worried," DeJonge said.
The group accepts monetary donations year-round and is asking the community to get any gifts it can into its donations bins by December 12. DeJonge said there’s a big need for items in the 8-12 year age range.
As the short-staffed team works to meet its demand, DeJonge reminds the community what these gifts mean to their recipients.
“When they’re able to find that special gift for their child it feels good because you know that kid is going to get a gift that they want and appreciate that," DeJonge said.