OGDEN -- The Toys for Tots and Angel Tree warehouse in Business Depot Ogden is a sea of toys for, well, tots -- but that doesn't mean there are enough.
Shortages of gloves, toys and even pants are looming. And those are just two of several programs working to fill needs of the poor at Christmas.
You never know what will show up on Santa's list. They don't share the warehouse space, but Your Community Connection in Ogden would be thrilled if someone donated a case of Kleenex. The humble coloring book is a key missing item as well.
Increased demand is behind it all.
"We are short and a bit concerned," said Lt. Peter Pemberton at the Salvation Army where the Angel Tree program is hoping to take care of 3,500 children.
"They keep saying the economy is getting better, but we're seeing more need here at the local level," especially with hundreds of families of the former Hostess Bakery suddenly out of work.
The Marine Corps League's annual toy drive is trying to fill wish lists for 3,000 families, figure three kids each. Their stuff alongside the Salvation Army's -- in a shared warehouse space donated by Ogden -- sure looks like they have a lot of toys.
But enough for more than 12,000 tots all told?
On Thursday morning Marcia Hamblin, USMC (Ret.), was sorting out a massive toy donation from Associated Foods. It came at a particularly good time, because she was really short on toys for little kids, she said.
And, it should be noted, the bin with toys for infants was still pretty empty.
"Last year we didn't have anything for older kids, this year it's for younger," she said. "You can't win for losing."
Toys for Tots is run by the Marine Corps League to provide toys to families in Weber, Davis and Box Elder counties. About 3,000 applications were sent out through schools in those counties, and she said most came back.
"The main problem is that people don't want to start giving until Dec. 1," she said, "but we need to educate the public that they need the toys in the first week of December, so we can start filling out the bags."
The toys are distributed on Dec. 17, she said, so they need to get hustling.
In addition to toys for small kids, she said there seems to be a heavy demand for Barbie dolls, Bratz dolls, and Avengers and Transformers toys. She is, she said, well-stocked with footballs, basketballs and baseballs.
And if anyone knows of a good source for large quantities of coloring books and crayons, she wants to talk to them.
Toys can be dropped off in Toys for Tots bins in any Walgreens, Walmart, Tony Divino Toyota, Farr's Ice Cream on Riverdale Road, Babies R Us, and at a special collection event Saturday on Ogden's 25th Street, where all the businesses in the 100 block of the street will be collecting Toys for Tots.
Lt. Pemberton said his program is struggling to meet the needs of 3,500 children in 1,000 families that have signed up for Angel Tree help.
In the Angel Tree, a shopper takes a tag off a tree in a participating store, buys the toys a child has indicated, and leaves them at the tree to be distributed.
The Angel Tree program tries to provide children with winter coats, socks, gloves, hats and underwear as well.
In the warehouse at BDO that the Salvation Army shares with Toys for Tots, Ned McCracken and a few volunteers were busy filling their own bags and lining them up on the floor.
His biggest needs are shoes and coats, he said, but pants and other clothes for kids ages 5 to 12 are also running short.
The goal is "to try to make sure every kid gets an outfit, and shoes and toys."
Children's coats are especially needed, he said.
The Walmart on Riverdale is having a special Angel Tree event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at which shoppers will be encouraged to meet the needs of children.
In addition, Lt. Pemberton said toys or other donations can be dropped off at any Shopko, Old Navy in Riverdale, Eagle Feather Trading, and the Salvation Army's headquarters at 26th Street and Grant Avenue in Ogden.
One of the smaller efforts is Your Community Connection, which works to help children in the families that are in programs at YCC, including the battered women's shelter.
Lynzee Ouellette said her program is desperately short of gloves, scarves and hats of all sizes.
She said YCC hands those items out to anyone who comes in and needs them, so they're a constant winter item, not just at Christmas.
In fact, she said, if anyone wants to give YCC a Christmas gift that will keep on giving, they can bring down a case of facial tissues.
"We get a lot of crying women down here, and we have to hand them a roll of toilet paper," she said.
Also needed are diapers, baby wipes, bibs, socks for women and children, underwear for women and children, bras of all sizes and hygiene items.
YCC is at 2261 Adams Ave.