Toys for Tots races to sort toys during Christmas crunch time

Toys for Tots enter crunch time

Members of our team here at NewsChannel 13 visited an outpost of the North Pole today in Mechanicville.

The race is on for Capital Region Toys for Tots to finish sorting toys, and members of the NewsChannel 13 team were busy helping with the rush inside the organization’s new warehouse in Mechanicville Wednesday.

“It’s chaos,” said Logistics Coordinator Staff Sergeant Ted Kleniewski of the Christmas countdown.

But a new warehouse at Adirondack Basement Systems allows a more permanent home to organize the chaos. 

“We got a structure of organization here, so it’s allowing us to operate a bit more effectively than last year at least less chaotically,” said Kleniewski.

Toys for Tots has moved 4,000 bags of toys to local nonprofits just this week.

Toys for Tots gave toys to nearly 350,000 children last year, making it one of the largest such operations in the country—according to Kleniewski.

“I would say that we would hit a record year this year,” he said.

The need has never been greater, according to members of a church loading up a truck of toys for children in Arbor Hill.

“Thank God for the Marines and Toys for Tots. It just seems that families are just struggling and everybody’s just trying to make it,” said Victoria Venable of Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Albany.

What Toys for Tots needs the most and what they said they don’t get enough of are toys for children 11 years old and up. They suggest puzzles, board games, beauty sets and more complex toys.

“We were short last year, we’re short again this year,” Kleniewski said.

No matter the state of the warehouse and all the late nights to come this week, all of the presents will make it under the trees of children in 14 local counties.

For more information about volunteering, click here.

Toys for Tots is still accepting donations at 80 Sheehan Street in Mechanicville.