Months later, Lee County Toys for Tots discovers many toys were stolen or damaged

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Toys for Tots in Lee County reeling after theft discovered
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Someone stole and damaged toys intended for children in Lee County.

SANFORD, NC (WTVD) -- The Toys for Tots in Lee County is at a loss after a break in. It happened in July but organizers didn't find out until recently, and now they're scrambling to make up for the loss in time for Christmas.

Fifteen boxes of broken toys remain, as many as 10 boxes of toys were stolen, and six boxes of toys were salvaged.

Batteries were ripped off of packaging and some toys were completely torn apart.

J. J. Cuff, coordinator for the Lee County Toys for Tots, said they plan to distribute toys as normal - as the toys are reserves from last year and they usually try to collect a little extra to start off the next year strong.

Cuff said he has every confidence that their toy drive will go off without a hitch, but is worried about other counties hit by Hurricane Matthew, like Cumberland.

DONATE: Find a Toys for Tots chapter to donate to here.

"Some of these people are still displaced," Cuff said. "They have no home to go back to, and with that said what I'd like [viewers] to do is look at those places and say let's give toys to them.

"Because remember what it was like on Christmas morning when you woke up as a kid, and you came downstairs and he came around the corner, and you saw the tree and you saw that toy, you saw that toy you wanted. Well guess what? That's what we want those kids to have."

Despite the stolen and broken toys in Lee County, Cuff prefers that people wanting to help out, donate to your local Toys for Tots or a chapter in a county damaged by Hurricane Matthew instead.

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