A Washington D.C.-area Toys for Tots program was on the brink of facing a truly solemn Christmas this year for thousands of less-fortunate children. The Montgomery County division of the national organization couldn’t find a place to store the thousands of gifts they receive through donations and then give to needy children in the area, according to the Washington-area FM radio station WTOP.com.
For the last couple months, the Montgomery Toys for Tots organization has issued pleas via social media and stories published by other news sources on their plight. Things were looking bleak in finding enough space for the 60,000 or so estimated toys the program annually collects.
That is until this week when Jonathan Neal, the CEO of the local Metropolitan Moving and Storage company, stepped up and told the charity organization he would donate between 5,000 and 6,000 square feet of his facility for the storing, sorting, and packing services they require.
It’s a problem that’s not unique to this area, either. This year has been especially hard not only on organizations like Toys for Tots, but people in the industry who have seen rent and leasing rates of storage facilities sky-rocket over the last couple years.
Out west, part of the blame is being placed on marijuana growing operations gobbling up much of the available real estate. Office spaces finding temporary options in alternative spaces is another potential reason. It’s also possible that Americans have reached a tipping point of sorts and have too much stuff but not enough places to put it.
The situation in Montgomery County is not the lone example of this problem this year. The head of Toys for Tots, Paul Gunther, has already set up a GoFundMe account to try and raise money so they can purchase a permanent warehouse space in the future.