Jackson County toy shortage leaves parents frustrated

Jackson County toy shortage leaves parents frustrated

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - When parents showed up at the Jackson County fairgrounds Sunday to pick up toys for their kids, they were in for a surprise.

For the second day in a row they were turned away due to the toys not being ready. Organizers posted a sign on the door of the distribution center, telling parents a toy shortage would further delay distribution.

It left anxious parents even more concerned about their kids Christmas presents.

"We came up here yesterday, I stood in line for four hours. I got a number, was told to come back today. I get here. She tells me they're not giving away toys, and to check the email and that will tell us when to come pick up," said Christina Tucker.

Organizer of Toys for Tots for Jackson and George counties, Pamela Williams, says she found herself having to address a rowdy crowd after Sunday's toys weren't ready for pickup.

"I hate that people are upset, and I do understand completely. That's why we came early to post the sign. We want to make sure that they didn't have to stand in the cold and the rain," said Williams.

More than 300 families showed up for Saturday's distribution. Williams says each family had a designated day, but some came on the wrong day which threw off the distribution.

"It would be unfair if I opened the doors today and did distribution with what we have. We would not be able to fill it correctly. It wouldn't be as fair," said Williams. "I want to make sure that everyone that signed up gets the same amount of toys, and in order to do that we have to have a little extra time to get more toys in the building."

While Williams has an explanation for the confusion, those who were turned away for a second day are fuming from the inconvenience.

"A lot of people don't have gas. A lot of people don't have jobs to keep coming out here and a lot of people having to find rides to come out here and come and get toys for their kids," said one parent.

Those turned away Sunday were asked to come back Monday at 2 p.m. Those scheduled for pick-up Monday can come Tuesday from 2 - 8 p.m.

Toys for Tots coordinator Staff Sgt. Lisa Flores sent the following statement to WLOX News Now:

"I want to inform all families that signed up for Toys for Tots in the Jackson area, that there was a shortage of toys for certain age groups at the distribution, which caused the delay in families receiving their toys today. Thanks to your Toys for Tots Coordinator, Pamela Williams, getting more donations and reaching out to the Marines, distribution will continue tomorrow at 2 pm and all families that registered are guaranteed Christmas gifts for their children. We hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas and thank you to all the businesses and the community for their donations that made all this possible for the children in your area. Semper Fi."

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