CHICAGO (CBS) — A major charity has been falling well short of its goal of toys and other gifts for its annual gift-giving campaign for thousands of needy children.

“These are children who have nothing to open on Christmas day without our toy drive,” said Kristine Kappel, spokeswoman for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Kappel said the organization normally gives out donated gifts to about 25,000 children – babies through teenagers – but this year the charity is about 5,000 toys short so far.

“We have some donors in the past who are no longer able to participate in our program, and we’re just seeing a little shortage in our regular donors,” she said.

Kappel asked the public for help in making up that difference, either by dropping off gifts at the Catholic Charities location at 721 N. LaSalle St., or at one of the other Catholic Charities locations in Cook County.

People also can go online and order gifts through the Catholic Charities website, so the gifts will be delivered directly to the organization by the December 14 deadline. Click here and follow the directions on the “Online Ordering” tab. catholiccharities.net/celebration

Kappel said people also can donate money that will go towards gifts for the children.

Catholic Charities’ gift-giving program began 69 years ago, when people started dropping off gifts for babies at the LaSalle Street location, which was an orphanage at the time.

“They would leave toys for the babies, and it’s just really grown to helping over 25,000 people, and we want to make sure that every child has something to open on Christmas Day,” Kappel said.