Family Impacted By Fire Signs Up For "Toys For Tots" - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Family Impacted By Fire Signs Up For "Toys For Tots"

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For the first time his life Brian Blake is signing up to receive donations from Toys for Tots.

"We don't have clothes or toys for the kids," said the father of three, "so, someone referred us to this program so we came up to see if we could get the kids some clothes."

Blake's family lost everything in a recent house fire.

"It was an electrical fire," he said. "Started in the kitchen and destroyed 75% of everything we own."

Right now, the family is picking up the pieces and trying to focus on what's most important.

"Get them some clothes, get them in school, and get them some toys for Christmas."

But so far this season, there aren't enough Toys for Tots donations to go around.

"We haven't even hit 50 percent yet," said Ssgt. Matthew Starratt, coordinator for QC Toys for Tots.

Starratt says more than 8,200 children are signed up. So, with only three weeks left until Christmas, the Quad Cities community is being asked to do what it does best.

"This week is when we usually get all the toys in, our bulk of our toys," said Starratt. "So, really hoping it turns out to be a good week."

Even though there's still work to do, Starratt is confident there will be a smile on every "tot's" face come Christmas morning.

"How well the Quad Cities does in supporting this program is just amazing," Starratt said. And that helps Blake breathe a little easier this holiday season. 

"I'm glad to see my kids will have a good Christmas," Blake said. 

It also makes him think about giving back, as soon as he is able.
          
"Hopefully when we get situated we can give back, too, and donate. Because we know how it feels to be in this situation."