LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - During the holiday, many children's hearts are filled by receiving toys through the "Toys for Tots" program.
The initiative is all thanks to Lufkin's Marine Core League, but this year they're having a hard time collecting toys and are asking for the communities help to make sure every child has something to unwrap.
"We believe that every child deserves a Christmas," said Brian Crews, Toys for Tots coordinator.
This year the Lufkin Marine Corps League received 685 applicants for their annual toy drive, but unlike previous years they don't have enough toys to handout.
Crews said around this time last year they had 80% of toys needed for the less fortunate children, but this year they've only received 60% of donations.
Members said a cause of this problem might've resulted from the cancellation of their air show
"We use the profits of the air show to buy toys for children. Since the airport was in the middle of renovation this year we had to cancel the air show. That took a big chunk out of our financial situation," Crews said.
Another contributing factor is donations to Hurricane Harvey victims.
"You know the folks that would've helped us strapped themselves by helping the people down south and so we feel like that had a lot to do with it," said Crews.
The Marine Corps League is still striving to receive enough donations for all applicants. One member from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area drove 210 miles on his motorcycle to help out.
"I do it for the kids so anything that will help the Marine Corps I'll be there," said Dave Kellaway.
But crews said the number of donations won't stop them from trying to give each child a toy.
"You know we're going to do what we can with what we have and we'll be very successful either way," Crews said.
They're back up plan is to average out the toys by age and gender and give out what they can.
Crews said, "To a child who would receive nothing under a tree anything is better than nothing. We're still accomplishing our mission by putting a smile on a child's face who might not otherwise have a Christmas at all."
If you'd like to donate to "Toys for Tots", donation boxes will be outside of Brookshire Brother's stores, major banks, and major real estate offices until this Thursday.