By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For thousands of families across the metro, the Salvation Army Toy Shop is their only chance to have something under the tree.

But just 19 days out from Christmas, their warehouse looks a lot different than usual this year.

“Ordinarily, we would have toys stacked up back here near to the ceiling,” said Salvation Army Warehouse Clerk Beth Koski.

In a week and a half, the agency will begin their metro area toy distributions for 19,000 kids, but right now, they only have enough for 15,000.

That leaves 4,000 children without a present to unwrap.

salvation army toy shortage Salvation Army Short 4,000 Toys For Kids In Need

(credit: CBS)

One-click shopping could be to blame for the decline.

“I do think part of the reason may be that we have more people shopping online through Amazon and other sites and fewer people going into our stores,” said Koski.

Local stores often host toy drives and have gift boxes on display. Fewer Christmas shoppers out in stores means fewer eyeballs on their calls for donations.

“Those people filter to us and our numbers are down as a result,” she said.

As of Thursday, the organization still needs toys for 700 infants and toddlers, more than 1,000 for boys and girls ages 6 to 9, and nearly 2,000 for boys and girls 10 and up.

They have enough presents for boys and girls ages 3 to 5. Here is more information on how you can help.

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