Toy Donations down in TucsonPosted: Updated:
If Christmas Cheer could simply be spread through good intentions, then Ramon Gonzales wouldn't have a problem.
He's in charge of the annual "Miracle on 31st Street" toy distribution party.
“It's been going on for 38 years,” said Ramon Gonzales Jr. “My dad, Ramon Gonzales, has been helping the kids out in South Tucson where he started.”
But helping the kids of South Tucson receive toys this year may very well take a miracle of its own.
“Well so far, we've only collected about a hundred toys to give out to roughly about 9-thousand people,” Gonzales said.
In addition to the toys, Gonzales needs about $10,000 to pay for security, food, and other expenses associated with the Christmas Eve distribution.
“So we're kind of asking the community to help us collect more,” Gonzales said.
The Salvation Army echoes the same concerns.
“We don't have a lot here,” said Tamara McElwee of the Salvation Army.
Their goal is to collect 25,000 toys for an estimated 10,000 needy children. As of Dec. 8, the Salvation Army has about 400 toys with distribution scheduled for Dec. 17.
“It's just a more difficult time, and we're seeing smaller donations than we've seen in the past,” McElwee said.
Aaron Fisher of Oro Valley fits the description of who she's talking about.
“In years past, four or five years ago, I was in a position where I was able to do a lot,” Fisher said. “And now it's just not possible. My income is 40% of what it was four years ago.”
It's a story to which many of the families who will receive these toys can relate. Yet the economy hasn't changed Rebecca Cohen’s giving habits.
“I certainly have a lot more than other people, so I never hesitate to donate,” Cohen said.
Folks at the Salvation Army, and Miracle on 31st Street, hope others follow in her footsteps.
“It's very heartwarming to see that,” Ramon Gonzales Jr. said.
If you’d like to donate to the Salvation Army, visit http://www.thesalvationarmytucson.org
If you’d like to donate to Miracle on 31st Street, you can send toys or money to:
Ramon Gonzales “Miracle on 31st”
2019 W. Ajo Way
Tucson, AZ 85713