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Some Organizations Say Toys For Tots Left Them Out

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- At the Marines' Toys for Tots distribution center in the Strip District on Friday, hundreds showed up to get toys for their children and grandchildren.

"I'm doing this for my grandkids cause they didn't have anything for Christmas. I'm just so blessed to have Toys for Tots," Christine Webster of Beltzhoover told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

But these were the lucky ones.

As KDKA reported Thursday night, some local organizations counting on toys to distribute before Christmas were told by Toys for Tots they were not on the list to get toys.

KDKA has learned that at least nine organizations may not be getting the toys they expected, including Sisters Helping Sisters, which has a party planned for 400 kids this weekend.

"We submitted our paperwork on time, and we gave them all the information they required from us to have, but somehow we got kicked out of the computer. I don't know why, what happened, have no explanation," said Theresa Germany of Sisters Helping Sisters.

KDKA has heard that there may have been computer glitches, but Staff Sgt. Charles Brashear, who coordinates Toys for Tots in Allegheny County, wouldn't comment specifically on what happened except to note generally, "They fill out their non-profit requests, and we get it and we try to fill it the best that we can with the toys and stuff that we have."

Brashear says the Marines try to accommodate everyone as best they can.

"We try to take care of every single request that we have," said Brashear.

But the sergeant says this year they have a shortfall in toys, especially for children 8-years-old and up.

Brashear: "I went out last night and actually again this morning before we actually opened up the doors, and we spent about $20,000 on toys at Toys 'R Us."

Delano: "Twenty thousand bucks?"

Brashear: "Yes."

Delano: "Do you still have enough toys, or do you need more?"

Brashear: "We need more. We've already gone through the stuff we bought this morning."

But Brashear says Toys for Tots will be open Saturday to distribute toys to any needy family.

"No kid should go without a toy underneath their Christmas tree," added the Marine.

Toys For Tots released a statement late Friday afternoon.

It says, in part: "In the past 24 hours, it has been reported that some non-profits have been denied toys this year. After reviewing the Toys For Tots online system, there is no record of any completed request having been submitted by the agencies in question. Agencies with incomplete online applications were notified that there was insufficient information input to the system concerning their orders and toys would be provided if available."

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