Hurricane relief efforts impacting Toys for Tots donations in Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Christmas is exactly one week away and if you think about it, it's been a pretty tough year for a lot of people who faced natural disasters. It seems there were months of relief efforts people wanted you to donate to.

Now, as we approach the holidays, some people don't have much more to give. FOX59 caught up with the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots coordinators who say they're feeling the pinch.

"This year has been a rough season. Last year we raised over 50,000 toys that we distributed to about 37,000 kids and this year we're really struggling to make our numbers. We have about 40,000 toys requested from us and we're probably about 5,300 toys short right now," Gunnery Sergeant Christopher LeCureux said.

So the team used a last minute push at Bankers Life Fieldhouse during the Pacers game to collect toys and money.

Even the Pacers organization felt the pinch from toy donors.

"Asked that some of the toys that he gives to Indiana kids be given to kids in Houston, Miami and Orlando so we experienced that a little bit too but overall we've been more than pleased with participation," Pacers spokesman Bill Benner said.

"A lot of our big sponsors you know they'll donate between 5,000 to 10,000 toys. This year they on average donated about 10% of what they did last year so that really hurt because we rely on that every year to support the community," LeCureux said.

Donors like Kevin McWilliams say this mission here at home is worth the sacrifice.

"Well God bless everyone that gives. There are so many people that need. There's a need for giving so we all appreciate it we love to give. God bless them all," McWilliams said.

And this team is fighting to reach their goal until the final hour.

"We just keep grinding. Everyday we're here 12, 15, 17 hours a day and we're just out on the streets, we're doing interviews, we're soliciting for donations we're asking people to just step up and donate it's a great mission. It's a great cause and we're just trying to give toys to all the kids for Christmas."

Gleaners Food Bank donated the warehouse space to store the toys this year and that saved about $10,000. If you’d like to still donate, click here.