Last chance to donate to Operation Santa Claus

Posted at 5:50 PM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-16 17:50:52-05

The 12th annual Operation Santa Claus is an effort to collect gifts for needy families throughout western New York.

7 ABC, Basil dealerships and the U.S. Marines are providing thousands of families with gifts for Christmas.

"We've been in western New York since 1953," said Jim Basil the President of Joe Basil Chevrolet. "We now have close to 700 employees that support us and the community has been so great to us. This is our chance to give back to a community that's been so good to us."

Last year Operation Santa Claus collected nearly 50,000 gifts and that's a goal they'd like to reach and even surpass this year. The entire operation is part of Toys for Tots.

"It's an organization that the United State Marine Corps Reserve puts on to help gather toys for needy families for the community their located in," said Jose Rubalcava a Staff Sergeant with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Gifts needed the most tend to be for boys eight and older. Items like a basketball, baseball glove or shower items are some ideas.

211 WNY is helping the operation this holiday season. That partnership incorporates numerous community groups throughout the area.

"Through the partnership we receive the toys that the Marines collect and through them we're able to distribute toys to needy families," said William Preston with Buffalo F.A.T.H.E.R.S.

Organizations like F.A.T.H.E.R.S takes calls and applications from families who say they need gifts for Christmas.

This year F.A.T.H.E.R.S alone is planning to donate to 1,000 families.

"The response and the Thank You's are just endless," said Basil.

The last day to drop off donations is Wednesday at Vidler's in East Aurora, Toys-R-Us, Clayton's and Basil dealership locations.




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