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Polk County Toys for Tots needs donations, volunteers to prepare for toy shortage

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Posted at 7:04 PM, Nov 15, 2021

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — While the global shipping crisis and a labor shortage are limiting the toy supply at stores, Polk County Toys for Tots is making sure less fortunate children will get a new toy this holiday.

Nine-year-old Mackenzie Wilson is getting to experience firsthand the true meaning of the holidays, giving to others.

“It feels really good because I know that I'm helping people,” Mackenzie Wilson said.

Mackenzie is volunteering with her grandmother at the Polk County Toys for Tots warehouse fulfilling the Christmas lists of children whose families can’t afford gifts.

“I just had an order where it said the kid she had lost all of her fun stuff and most of her clothes due to mold in her house,” she explained.

Her grandmother Catherine Herman has been volunteering for two decades.

“Once you start volunteering here, especially in the warehouse and you fill the orders for the children, it just makes you feel so heartwarming,” Herman said.

With the help of donors and volunteers, Polk County Toys for Tots distributed about 58,000 toys last year, despite the pandemic, and was named the best program in the nation. This year they planned ahead for a toy shortage caused by the global shipping crisis.

“We actually began purchasing toys back in June, storing them and preparing for our campaign,” said David Waller, Toys for Tots Coordinator.

Waller said they are still in need of donations and more volunteers.

“To help us to shop and to help us pick up the toys to make this campaign a success because every child deserves a Christmas,” he said.

To learn more about donating or volunteering visit Polk County Toys for Tots.