EAST GREENWICH, RI- For nearly two decades, one local man has dedicated himself to collect thousands of toys through the U.S. Marine sponsored, ‘Toys for Tots'.
It's that time of year when donations start to come in, but this year the Marines have pulled back on their resources due to budget cuts.
Bob Venturini is saddened that he won't get any distribution trucks or boxes for his 20th memorial ‘Toys For Tots'; dedicated to his father Victor Venturini.
"My father died when I was seven and we didn't get much for Christmas and I had eight brothers and sisters," said Venturini.
It's why he's so passionate about providing toys to kids. Although he's not sure how he'll pull off this year's toy donation, he's taking today to thank the businesses and organizations that have helped him collect over 100,000 toys in Rhode Island.
Venturini said, "These people come up with toys you wouldn't believe."
"Anytime you can give a cent to help out one person or anything, a toy; it's a great cause. It's very humbling," said Jiggers Diner owner and sponsor, Stephen Head.
In the past, Bob has held the big toy drop off at the Warwick Mall. The U.S. Marines would gather those toys and take them to a distribution center in Pawtucket.
Unfortunately, this year the Marines just don't have the funds to help provided those trucks and the government shutdown didn't help.
"It's not the Marine's fault; it's Washington. They're playing volley, back and forth and who's hurting who and who's helping who to make whoever look good or bad and it's at the expense of kids," said Venturini.