The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program in Philadelphia has been flooded with requests for toys this year, far outstripping supply, say organizers.
And local marines are asking for help.
"We are way under supplied," said Staff Sgt. Marc Palos, the Toys for Tots coordinator for Philadelphia and Bristol.
"We are running out of toys and people keep requesting them," he added. "We just don't have enough to give them."
Palos cited continuing economic troubles as the culprit, but says he is unsure why this year would be worst than last.
Last year, the program produced over 113,000 toys by Christmas.
"This year, I seriously doubt will make that marker," Palos said. "We're just not receiving the toys we have in the past from the public."
However, Palos said corporations are still donating, and he said there is still time to make up the slack. The Marines have collection sites at all Philadelphia Fire Department stations, as well as four Toys R Us locations.
"In years past, we really didn't have an issue," Palos said. "We need to get the word out ... I guarantee you that by the end of this week, we might not have any toys to distribute."
However, U.S. Navy Reserve Capt. Howard S. Serlick, in charge of the Center City effort, said he had hope. Toys for Tots will be setup outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center Dec. 14th, 15th and 16th for donations.
The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December. It also takes donations.
The toys are distributed as Christmas gifts to needy children.