New Jersey residents step up to replace thousands of dollars-worth of toy donations lost in flood
Toys for Tots in Burlington County put out a call for donations after many of the toys the organization had collected were damaged in a flood – and New Jersey residents responded strongly.
Parents and guardians were able to “shop” for their children on Wednesday at the facility.
“It helps a lot. It helps a lot with the kids because I have custody of them and I only get Social Security. So, it helps a lot,” says Angela Talbot, fighting back tears.
Talbot was picking out items for her grandchildren. Toys for Tots welcomed the parents in for the first day of the season.
But this event almost did not happen. News 12 New Jersey reported two weeks ago that thousands of dollars-worth of toys were damaged in a flood. Many New Jersey residents, including some News 12 viewers, answered the call for donations.
“The Amazon Wishlist really has taken off. We’ve been getting checks for $25, $50 from all over New Jersey thanks to your news story,” says Toys for Tots’ Gina Capate.
And then there is 6-year-old Danny Liberton from Maple Shade who dropped off the toys that he collected.
“We left a box on our front porch with Toys for Tots logo on the box and people put toys in the box,” he says.
The organization says that it will now be able to help more than 22,000 kids thanks to the donations. About 35% of those families are new to the program because of COVID-19.
"It's not just people that don't have a job. It's people that lost their jobs. Their businesses have closed. We've seen applications from all types and different kinds of families and what they're experiencing,” Capate says.
The families say that they are grateful for the donations.
"It's kind of a lifesaver because I'm out of work right now because of everything going on. It took so much weight off my shoulders…I just didn't want them not to have the holidays that they usually have every year,” says Melissa Nicolas, of Palmyra.
Toys for Tots Burlington County says they're still collecting toys and donations as more families continue to sign up for the program. Their distribution will run for the next few weeks.