Lehigh Valley

Toys for Tots sees spike in request

Toys for Tots sees spike in request

It's only November 1st, but the Salvation Army and the US Marines say they are seeing more requests for holiday assistance than ever.

WFMZ's Jaccii Farris introduces us to two Easton parents who are determined to provide a happy holiday for their kids.

For Anthony Banka 2013 has been a rough year.

"Me and my wife had hit a hard time," said Banka.

After his job was down sized his family had to adjust.

"We did have a house. Unfortunately we were unable to pay for it anymore," he said.

Banka is back at work but is making barely enough to pay the bills.

He was waiting in line Friday to make sure that despite what 2013 has given him he can give his 12-year-old son a happy holiday.

"He is happy for the things that he does have but obviously we want to make sure he has a lot of good things as well," said Banka.

The Easton Post of the Salvation Army says the Wish Upon a Star Christmas gift program and meal assistance requests are higher than ever.

Toys for Tots says the requests for toys in the Lehigh Valley have also increased.

USMC Gunnery Sergeant Edward Mertz says the local Toys for Tots will place more toys under the trees of children in need than Philadelphia.

Miriam Diaz supports her two young brothers and two kids of her own.

She says before she found out about the two programs.  It looked like Christmas was just going to be having a roof over their head.

"I am praying through Toys for Tots that they will get what they actually need for next year," said Diaz.

If you would like to donate contact your local Salvation Army or Toys for Tots location.

"Everything that is donated in the Lehigh Valley stays in the Lehigh Valley," Mertz.

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