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Single Mom Who Received ‘Toys For Tots’ For Her 5 Kids Says She’s 'Not Ungrateful', But Is Super Disappointed By The Gifts

Photo: Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock 
toys for tots, single mom, donation, children

Christmas is right around the corner, and while gift-giving can be fun and rewarding, it can also be extremely stressful. Expenses soar during the holiday season and unfortunately, some families cannot afford to buy gifts for their children, leaving them worried about whether or not they will have gifts under their trees this year. 

Thankfully, there are programs in place that allow people to donate gifts to families in need, and it helps many of them tremendously. 

However, one mother is facing backlash after she criticized the gifts she received from Toys for Tots, claiming that they were not what she envisioned her children opening on Christmas morning. 

The single mom of five claimed that while she is grateful for Toys for Tots, she is ‘disappointed’ by her family's experience.

Toys for Tots is a toy-distributing program run by the U.S. Marine Corps that donates gifts to families who cannot afford to buy their children Christmas presents. Being a single mother of five, Tiara Josephine utilized the program for the first time this year to ensure that all of her kids would receive Christmas gifts. 

“I’ve never done Toys for Tots before so I don’t know how it’s supposed to be, but I’ve seen a bunch of videos of people picking up these huge bags of toys and stuff,” Josephine said in a TikTok video. 

After she signed up to receive gifts and was approved, the mother anxiously awaited her pick-up date. One evening as she was driving her children home from school, she received a call from a volunteer of Toys for Tots telling her that her gifts were ready for pick up. 

When the volunteer informed Josephine that the gifts for her four children were ready, she assumed it was just a mistake, as she had confirmed to the program that she had five kids. But once she arrived to pick up the bag of gifts, she was told that the volunteers had thrown something extra inside for the child that they had missed. 

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When she arrived home and opened the gift haul out of sight of her children, Josephine was baffled by what she found inside. 

Before revealing the gifts to us viewers, Josephine clarified that she was “100 percent not being ungrateful,” but admitted that she expected more. 

   

   

First, Josephine shared the toy that was belatedly added for her seven-year-old daughter, Jade — a Paw Patrol action figure set. “She’s seven, but this is for a three-year-old,” the disappointed mom said of the gift that was tossed in the bag for her child that was nearly forgotten

In addition to the Paw Patrol set, Josephine also received a blanket set, a walker toy intended for infants and small children learning to walk, a glow-in-the-dark magnet set, and a toy coffee maker. 

Josephine was dismayed by the gifts considering that she had given the ages of her children and their interests to Toys and Tots beforehand so that the volunteers would have a better idea of what to put in their gift bags.

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She claimed that one of her daughters likes arts and crafts, yet none of the gifts had anything related to her interest. “I was not expecting anything big, but I was expecting maybe markers or stuff like that,” she said. 

Josephine also noted that her children are elementary school-aged and that most of the gifts were intended for infants and toddlers. 

“I think Toys for Tots is a really great program and I’ve seen them do great things,” she said. “But I think for sure they dropped the ball in our area,” adding that the specific area at her location was “completely unorganized” and that several other orders were mixed up. 

The mother confessed that she was depending on the Toys for Tots gifts. Still, she claimed that she would figure out other alternatives to ensure that her kids receive at least some of the items they asked for. 

While Josephine was simply venting her frustrations, some commenters accused her of being ungrateful. 

“I was a single mom for five years and I would’ve been excited to get something like this,” one TikTok user commented. 

“Take them back and let them give them to a family that would appreciate the stuff,” another user suggested. 

“Those are great toys! I’m not sure what the issue is,” a third user wrote. 

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Others resonated with Josephine, claiming that she and her children deserved a little more consideration. 

“I mean as a single mom to three, I think they dropped the ball. It’s not being ungrateful. It seems thoughtless,” one user commented. 

“As a single mom, in a position where you have to go to Toys for Tots, this is a huge disappointment," another noted. "She's feeling the disappointment her kids are going to feel when they wake up.” 

Others alleged that organizations like Toys for Tots keep the most extravagant gifts donated for the volunteers and their families rather than the families who turn to them for help. Some suggested that there could have been a decrease in donations this year and that Toys for Tots did not have enough gifts to give to every family. 

Some viewers recommended she look into alternative programs in the future. "Next year sign up for Angel Tree through Salvation Army!! We adopted a little girl and got her everything and more on her list," one user wrote.

Thankfully, some viewers wanted to help Josephine out to ensure that her children would be pleased with their gifts on Christmas morning. 

After she added an Amazon wishlist to her TikTok bio, people chose to buy and send her presents that her children had requested. 

   

   

Thanks to the generosity of kind strangers online, Josephine's kids will be able to unwrap plenty of presents Christmas morning, from Squishmallows and board games to clothes and shoes.

Even if you rely on donated gifts from kind souls for the holidays, any disappointment over being unable to gift your children their desired presents is entirely valid. It is okay to express your hurt and frustration that the holidays can be difficult, especially if you are a single parent struggling financially

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.