Holiday Help Deadlines Drawing Near

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CLEVELAND -- There are many families across Northeast Ohio in need this holiday season, and there are also many willing to give.  But the deadlines for holiday help are fast approaching. 

It's not quite Santa's workshop, but the Toys for Tots warehouse is starting to fill up. 

Sgt. Maj. Michael Burke said these are toys are for area boys and girls who might not otherwise have a gift under the tree this Christmas. 

"Donations, any time you see a Toys for Tots box at a local store or a local business, you can just buy something new.  Put it in the box and we'll collect it,” Burke said.

The 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines out of Brook Park are partnering with The United Way, making a list to distribute the toys.  

Bill Kitson, president and CEO of The United Way of Greater Cleveland, said it takes just a phone call to get on the list. 

"If anyone is in need, you simply dial 211 in our community and we'll help you get the help that you need," Kitson said.

But the reality is that resources are limited and deadlines are fast approaching. 

“Many of our lists end on Dec. 5 or even sooner.  So, if a family is in need, they should dial 211," Kitson advised.

Madeline Medley is the executive director of the Adopt a Family Association. 

Last year, they helped 155 families, and find the need is greater this year. 

"The Adopt a Family for Christmas program helps families that are suffering financially during the holidays.  They are not able to provide gifts, toys and clothing items for their children," Medley explained.

She said that’s where sponsors come in to fill a family’s wish list.  

"So, we match those families with sponsors, very caring sponsors, who will provide the needs for the family,” Medley added. 

The need can only be met with the generosity of those willing to give this holiday season.

The Toys for Tots donations will be distributed through area recreation centers and churches in time for Christmas. 

“At the end of the day, we all know who needs help and we should reach out and make sure that our community is a better place,” Kitson said. 

The following links are available for more information:

The United Way

Toys for Tots

Adopt a Family

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