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Charity 'Toys Of Hope' In Need Of Help After Delivery Van Totaled In Crash

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A volunteer organization on Long Island that helps needy families is in need of help, itself.

Its toy delivery van was totaled in a crash and that is putting its holiday gift distributions in jeopardy, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported Monday.

Toys are piling up, but will they make it to children in time for Christmas?

You could say Santa's sleigh is grounded in one of his workshops. A two-decade-old delivery van used by the nonprofit Toys of Hope is beyond repair.

"We are without a truck and we have been scrambling and people have been helping us in cars and driveways," said Melissa Doktofsky, founder of Toys of Hope.

"The van is our lifeline," added Brian Hansen, the organization's volunteer director of operations.

Hansen spreads cheer year round, not only toys for needy and homeless families, but also clothing, food, and coats.

"For us to get a new van, we are all volunteer and finances are tough. The last two years with the pandemic, the donations just didn't come in," Hansen said.

The group has managed to still pull off beloved parades, shuttling toys in their own cars from Long Island to New Jersey. However, the 27-year-old organization doesn't want this to be the first year it disappoints.

"If we don't come with the truck, there is no Christmas. That's the barebones of it all," Doktofsky said.

"A lot of these shelters, they are only in on a temporary basis, so they are constantly moving. So a toy for them that they can call their own -- and it's not used -- it means a lot to them," Hansen added.

One woman dropped off dozens of new dolls.

"There are so many children out there who don't get toys. They feel, I've been good all year and why didn't I get toys?" the donor said.

While, sadly, some deliveries will be canceled.

"Thirty two individual deliveries to our families that are handicapped, that they have no way they can get to us," Doktofsky said.

Toys of Hope says it really needs people to come through.

Volunteers said, if necessary, they will continue to deliver toys through Three Kings Day on Jan. 6, but they are hoping not to disappoint hundreds of children with an IOU on Christmas.

For information on how you can help, please click here and here.

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