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Toys for Tots short of 'mission' days before Christmas

Officials say the U.S. Marines' Toys for Tots campaign urgently needs donations of toys to meet its "mission" to deliver Christmas presents to needy children in nine Triangle counties.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Officials with the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots campaign said they urgently need donations of more toys in the days before Christmas.

There aren't enough toys in the charity's Raleigh distribution center to go out to all the children in the nine counties served, said Lee Cox, a Toys for Tots spokesman.

"We don't have enough toys to meet the mission," Cox said.

Normally, Cox said, reserve Marines, local social workers and church members would have been out distributing toys on Saturday. But this year, they hadn't collected enough toys to start the operation.

"We have to be able to get these toys in and distribute them no later than Tuesday, and that's pretty late," Cox said.

Toys can be donated at more than 200 drop-off locations throughout nine counties through Monday and Tuesday. Monetary donations to fund the group's efforts can be made through Christmas Eve.
Toys for Tots of Raleigh collects and gives out toys to children in Wake, Durham, Johnston, Sampson, Orange, Chatham, Franklin, Vance, Warren and Granville counties.

For 61 years, Marine Corps reservists have given new, unwrapped toys to needy children. It is "a message of hope" aimed at motivating children "to grow into responsible, patriotic citizens and community leaders," according to the national group's Web site.

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