Sevier County Toys for Tots program struggles for donations

Sevier County Toys for Tots program struggles for donations

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Volunteers bagged toys all evening on Wednesday. Volunteers bagged toys all evening on Wednesday.
"We're going to have to find new ways to raise funds and raise awareness," Ron Russell said. "We're going to have to find new ways to raise funds and raise awareness," Ron Russell said.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

PIGEON FORGE (WATE) – It has been the toughest year ever for the Toys for Tots program in Sevier County. Volunteers have had to reach out to the national office for help.

Volunteers say donations to the program that started in 1991 are so low this is the first year they have had to put kids on a waiting list.

"It's stressful, it's stressful not knowing if you're going to make it or not. Especially when it's the first year you've had this dilemma," said Ron Russell.

Russell says giving is down from corporations and the general public.

In the last minute the local group reached out to the national Toys for Tots office. A shipment was sent to them on Wednesday, so volunteers can have toys bagged up for Saturday's toy distribution.

"I didn't expect it to be this drastic," Russell said.

He says this year's struggle could be a lesson for next year.

"We're going to have to find new ways to raise funds and raise awareness," Russell said.

Volunteers bagged toys all evening on Wednesday. They will continue to do so every evening until the toys are distributed.

If you would like to donate, they say monetary gifts are best. You can contact the office by calling 865-254-3911.

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