Local organizations need your help making donation goals this holiday season

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 17, 2014)-- It's crunch time for several local organizations looking to make sure local families in need have a Merry Christmas.

Toys for Tots is about 8,000 toys short ahead of this weekend's giveaway at the State Fairgrounds.

"I thought collection was going pretty well but coming to crunch time it hasn't gone as well because the need is much greater this year. We'll help almost at about 50,000 kids," said Toys for Tots coordinator, Staff Sgt. Mai-Lee Smith.

The number of kids signed up to receive toys is up by 12,000 from last year. That's due to more families qualifying for some form of government assistance. The Marines also reached out to more areas this year to see if their help was needed.

Local Marines turned to their last resort. They used money raised throughout the year to head to big box stores and purchase toys themselves.

"We're running out of money too so that's why we're really in a bind. There isn't a lot for me to go out and do another shopping trip," said Smith.

Toys for Tots Central Indiana isn't the only organization struggling. The United Way's United Christmas Service is also in a tough spot. This year about 7,800 households signed up to receive vouchers. Due to a lack of monetary donations, a large chunk of those families could be out of luck.

"It could be as many as 2,500 families that might not be able to get help this year. That is through our direct assistance program that those families probably wouldn't get the assistance they're needing," said program coordinator Rachael Candee.

Each family receives a $30 voucher for each member in their household. The money can be used for household supplies or toys for their children.

United Christmas Service is accepting donations through Dec. 19 in order to make sure families receive help on Christmas Day.

To find Toys for Tots donation information, click here.

To donate to United Christmas Service, click here.

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