Families who come to The Salvation Army Toy Shop are looking for more than a few gifts to put under the Christmas tree. They want to create a magical, memorable Christmas for their children in spite of the financial difficulties they face.
Toy Shop is designed to help parents who are are working or attending school full-time and cannot afford to buy Christmas gifts for their children. Almost 800 families were served by Toy Shop this year, which means that over 2,200 kids in central Indiana will now have toys to open on Christmas morning. In addition to toys hand-picked by the parents to fit their child’s unique interests, families were sent home with bags of stocking stuffers, children’s books and gift cards from Kroger to help with Christmas dinner.
Hundreds of volunteers led families through Toy Shop and helped to restock tables between each scheduled shopping session. Groups from Huntington Bank, IU Health, Baldwin and Lyons, Harrison College and other organizations donned red aprons and lent a hand.
Working alongside the other volunteers were several familiar faces from our partners at WISH-TV, like Randy Ollis, Teresa Mackin, Eric Halvorson, Lori Wilson and Brooke Martin. The WISH Tree Toy Drive collected about 6,000 toys for Toy Shop, including a big collection before the Indianapolis Colts game on December 14 that resulted in over 2,300 toys donated by our big-hearted Colts fans. Helping families take these toys home is a great way to wrap up this massive effort and always a rewarding experience for our friends at WISH-TV and all our wonderful volunteers.
Thank you to everyone who donated, collected, hauled and sorted toys this year, and many blessings to the families we were able to serve. Merry Christmas!