By Don Ford

RICHMOND (KPIX 5) — Due to a donation shortage in the Richmond Fire Department’s annual holiday toy drive, this could first year ever that the department can’t donate to each family that’s made a request for help.

With less than two weeks left before Christmas, the Richmond Fire Department is asking for the public’s help to fill the empty shelves where they usually store the toys and gifts collected for the drive.

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“Typically this time of year, our shelves are overflowing and our barrels are overflowing with toys donations from all of our citizens and community members,” explained Richmond Fire Captain Rico Rincon. “Unfortunately that is not the case this year.”

Toy donations are down 70 percent, leaving shelves nearly bare. While some toys have been collected, the fire department is worried that they will not have enough for Richmond’s needy children.

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Julie Wong volunteers for the program, helping collect toys for the drive. On Thursday, she dropped off a bag that came from a dinner party she attended last night.

“This year, we’re like in really bad shape, so we’re just hoping for help from anybody. Any little bit helps,” said Wong.

New unopened toys and gifts can be dropped off at any Richmond Fire Station. Cash donations can be donated online at department’s the toy drive web site.

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“The financial donations go to buying toys in bulk, to be able to provide for where donations haven’t been made for those age groups,” said Capt. Rincon.