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Unidentified holiday Grinch steals Missoula Toys for Tots donations

Toys for Tots donation bin Ace Hardw
Posted at 4:56 PM, Nov 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-05 11:01:13-04

Last year, Missoula Toys for Tots was able to give toys to more than 600 kids.

Unfortunately, the organization had some bad news last week – creating a hiccup in this year's toy distribution.

Missoula County Toys for Tots coordinator Tammy Cunningham visited the organization's storage locker last week to check on their toy supply, only to find out the unit had been broken into this summer.

Boxes of toys were missing, though the exact number of toys stolen is still unknown at this time, according to Cunningham.

She, along with a few volunteers, plan to take a full inventory of the losses on Monday, when the leftover toys will be moved to a new location.

The toys were part of the collection from last year's campaign and were planned to be distributed during Toys for Tots' early holiday events.

This wasn't exactly a direct attack on Toys for Tots— an estimated total of 50 storage units at Vigilante Parking and Storage were broken into in early August, according to Vigilante.

The company was unable to contact Cunningham because they did not have up-to-date contact information.

Cunningham says she does not blame Vigilante, and that the storage facility has been very helpful in keeping the remaining toys safe.

Vigilante said they have the suspects on video but are unable to identify them.

Vigilante filed a police report with Missoula Police Department, who told MTN News the investigation is still underway.

Cunningham was shocked and heartbroken to find the toys stolen, especially so close to the holiday season.

She pointed out that families are struggling a little extra this year due to inflation, and that toy donations are needed now more than ever.

It is the 75th anniversary of Toys for Tots, and Cunningham hopes that community support will help replace the inventory.

She wants those who are thinking of donating to know that all toys donated to the Missoula center will be given to Missoula County kids.

Additionally, 97¢ of every dollar donated is used to purchase more toys for kids.

To apply for aid, families will need to provide certain documentation, but Cunningham encourages them to reach out.

Applications for holiday toy assistance can be found here.

More information on how to donate can be found on the Missoula County Toys for Tots website.