They're coming in by the van fulls.
"It's hard to say right now," said SSgt. Adam Cortese, Toys for Tots. "I'm hoping it will be a good year."
You'd think an industrial-sized garage full of toys would be enough to make it a 'good year' for all the needy families in Dane county.
But unfortunately, the Marines in charge of the Toys for Tots drive, say it's not even close.
"What I've heard is that we're probably going to be short and we're not going to have as many toys as we'd like to have," said Cortese. "We'll make sure that everybody gets something, but we could always use more help."
The Marine Corps works with the Salvation Army in Dane county.
Officials there say about 1,800 families usually have come forward at this point in the season, looking for toys and meals during the holidays.
"This year, it's already over 2,300," said Major Paul Moore, Salvation Army. "So we're looking at a pretty significant increase in need at this point."
Moore says an increase in the area's population, especially among minorities, is the reason for higher demand this year.
And that rise in requests, could up leaving some people out in the cold.
"In previous years they could come to us late, maybe around the 23rd, 24th and get help," said Moore, "I don't know what we're going to have this year to help them with."
Both the Marines and the Salvation Army are hoping for a lot more donations to make sure every family who comes forward gets something and every kid, has a merry Christmas.
"A new toy shows the kids that there's a sign for hope," said Cortese, "and it gives them something special come Christmas time."
Donation Contact Info:
Salvation Army of Dane County
630 East Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703
Toys for Tots (US Marine Corps)
1430 Wright St.
Madison, WI 53704