HALFMOON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Santa’s workshop was very nearly homeless this year! Capital Region Toys for Tots lost their footing in Clifton Park after the warehouse where they stored and sorted the toys was sold.

“Unfortunately, you know, we lost the lease on the old property, and we’re 40 days, 45 days behind the power curve,” explains Capital Region Toys for Tots coordinator USMC GySgt. Albert Roman, Jr.

“Without a warehouse, it’s kind of like trying to fight a war without a base,” adds fellow coordinator USMC SSgt. Patrick Lurenz.

Fortunately, the Halfmoon-Waterford Fire District opened up its new station giving Toys for Tots a temporary shelter while they hustle to catch up on this year’s donations.

“Through the generosity of these volunteer guys that give up their time for their community, they are helping us now to continue to get back into this community,” says Lurenz.

The firehouse will act as home base until after the collection and distribution season is over, at which point Toys for Tots hopes to find a new permanent location quickly. A statement from Halfmoon-Waterford Fire District Commissioner John D’Alessandro reads:

The Halfmoon-Waterford Fire District #1 is extremely happy to partner with the Toys For Tots program. When we developed the plans for the new Station and pavilion, a primary goal was to design it so it benefited the community beyond fire and emergency response. This is just the first of many opportunities to do so.

We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season. And remember, the men and women of your local fire department are there to serve you when you need them. Don’t hesitate to call when you do

Even more people from all over are chipping in to make sure Santa’s elves can work without delay! UPS volunteering trailers to move the toys, Amazon providing drivers, and PODS Moving and Storage is setting up the donation boxes across the Capital Region.

“This was really a monumental story, because every time we’re about to fail, the community comes and rallies and really shows the kids what we’re about,” says Roman.

These Marines also say they couldn’t do it without their volunteers. This year’s campaign is dedicated to Army Specialist Rob Bowen who recently lost both his parents–his mother during the 2021 holiday campaign and then his father just three weeks ago–but he’s continued hitting the pavement to guarantee local kids the holiday they deserve.

U.S. Army Specialist E4 Rob Bowen, Jr. stands beside the Toys for Tots donation truck dedicated to honor him and his parents, Joan and Robert Bowen, who both passed away at the same time of year and one year apart.

“This is not about us. This is bigger than us, right? This is about showing these kids and the feeling that we get when these folks get together and really showcase what the community does, it’s amazing. It’s a feeling like no other,” says Roman.

He further adds he was a recipient of Toys for Tots himself when he was young and wants to give other kids the joy he received at the hands of charitable strangers.

“It’s all about coming together continuously fighting for these kids to show them that someone is out there that cares,” he says.

NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton will act as emcee for Saturday’s Rock for Tots concert from 3pm to 11pm at Philly Bar and Grill in Latham. The one-night event is collecting donations for Toys for Tots. Admission is $10 and one unwrapped toy.

Capital Region Toys for Tots is accepting donations through December 15. Click here to find a full list of upcoming events.