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San Diego Store Gives Back To Military Families With Toy Drive

Evening Edition

Aired 12/4/13 on KPBS News.

The Armed Forces YMCA has had a record number of requests for toys this holiday season, and one San Diego toy store is looking to help out by hosting a toy drive.

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the busiest days for holiday shopping, "Giving Tuesday" is an opportunity for shoppers to give to those less fortunate.

At Westfield UTC mall in La Jolla, Geppetto's toy store is participating in "Giving Tuesday" for the second year. It hosts a toy drive for the Armed Services YMCA, which has received a record 1,400 requests for toys.

Cat Quirk of the Armed Services YMCA said the toy drive sends an important message to military families.

"It's really a way to acknowledge their sacrifice and say thank you, but also help them with those stresses," Quick said.

All nine of the Geppetto's stores in San Diego are accepting toy donations, or shoppers can buy a toy from the store to donate.

Brian Miller, owner of Geppetto's, said the store is also doing their own giving back — both to military families and to those who donate.

"We'll give them a $5 gift certificate they can use to by something for themselves in our store, so that's our way of giving back. And also, we're matching quite a few toys and putting our own toys in for the Armed Services YMCA," Miller said.

The goal for the drive is to serve 900 families. The toys will be distributed next week.

"Military families on Dec. 11 and 12 are going to come to through our toy room," Quirk said. "They get to pick out two free toys for each of their children."

Donations of toys are accepted in store, and the Armed Services YMCA also accepts donations of gift cards and online contributions.

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