Tucsonans come through for annual toy drives

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Our cameras showed up to see border patrol Santa putting gifts under the tree for the department's toy drive.

The marines arrived shortly after to pick up the 150 plus toys the border patrol collected over the last few weeks.

Not to be outdone, in Catalina, Golder Ranch fire fighters began handing out toys to needy parents wanting to give their kids a good Christmas.

Golder Ranch collected toys from the community and within the department.  They had so many, they probably won't have all of them handed out until sometime Thursday.

And days ago it was hard to believe that after 40 years of work, the Miracle on 31st Street toy drive wasn't going to happen due to record low donations.  The toy drive isn't called Miracle on 31st for nothing.

"The response has been terrific guessing the amount of toys we have is a guesstimate but we think we're getting closer," said Kirt Ijams.

A few days ago, the bus associated with the Miracle on 31st Street toy drive was nearly empty.  Donors would just, pass by. As of Wednesday, miraculously, the bus has almost 80% of the toys they need.

"If we have 8,000 children, we're looking at 16,000 toys so that would be a miracle in itself," said Ijams.

And getting those remaining toys is why their bus was at the corner of Ina and Oracle.  They need just a little more so they don't have to turn any kids away on December 24.

"If we can make up that difference and create joy and happiness and Christmas time than we hope that will happen," said Ijams.

The volunteers are still amazed that this storage unit and this bus are nearly full of toys. Just days ago they were scratching their heads wondering if they'd have to cancel the event because of low donations. Now the event is on as scheduled, and they couldn't be happier.

"We do it because its good for the children, especially now with the economic times," said Ijams.

Toys will be distributed on Friday at Tucson Electric Park, starting at 8 A.M. each child will hopefully get two toys.