After years of relying on Toys for Tots to help provide Christmas gifts for Troy's neediest children, a local organization is now scrambling for donations. YNN's Lori Chung has more on how Pastor Willie Bacote is hoping overcome the shortfall.
TROY, N.Y. -- "They sent me back and said that because of the high demand, we were turned down," said Pastor Willie Bacote.
That's not the response Pastor Willie Bacote was expecting to hear from Toys for Tots, an organization that, for years, has helped to provide his Missing Link Street Ministry with gifts to make sure Troy's neediest children have a Merry Christmas.
"I know that Toys for Tots does a great job each year, but the economy is just hard," Bacote said.
Last year, more than 800 children received a toy at the church's annual holiday celebration.
"It's heartbreaking for the kids," Troy resident Christopher Strope said.
Parents like Spring and Christopher Strope who hoped to bring their six children this year say the event is one of the few options around to help needy families.
Strope said, "There are so many programs out there and they're all filled."
"A lot of pressure. Very stressful trying to do what we have to do to keep the children happy," Spring Strope said.
But Missing Link says the show must go on. Pastor Willie is now turning to the community for help to make those little spirits bright.
"There's an anonymous donor who's stepping up to the plate, there's a family that went out on Saturday and just shopped,” Bacote said.
An effort that though already underway, has a long way to go with so many little ones hoping Santa remembers them this season.
That holiday celebration will be held on Saturday, December 22nd at the YMCA on First Street in Troy from noon to 3 p.m.
Anyone who'd like to donate a toy can drop one off at the Missing Link Street Ministry. They're located at 3370 Sixth Ave. in Troy.