YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Salvation Army has thousands of toys looking for a new home, and they are on the move this week. The Army’s Christmas distribution program is helping Santa find every child and making sure the perfect toy is under their tree.
The program is funded by donations that shoppers drop in the Salvation Army’s famous red kettles.
Noemi Estremera found a toy her child can play with, while learning at the same time.
“She’s able to learn her ears, hands and feet,” she said. “And it’s something she can just walk around with and have fun.”
“All of my kids are expecting something from Santa,” said Lori Sakalosh. “Their faces light up when its time for Christmas.”
The donated toys are new, still wrapped in their boxes, not second-hand toys.
“The gifts are really, really great,” said Shaclecha Stoddard. “The quality and the helpfulness that they give us is awesome.”
The families signed up for this Christmas assistance in July, which also includes clothes. Families cannot just show up and receive toys.
Many of the families’ stories are the same. Without the Salvation Army’s help, the holiday would be bleak.
“The fun part of this is that we have groups and individual families that will take the Angels Tags and go shopping for these children,” said Major Valerie Kahn, associate Mahoning County area coordinator of the Salvation Army. “They’re just bought with joy. They’re given in joy.”
The Mahoning County Salvation Army is helping 2,200 children with Christmas toys and clothes. Plus, more than 1,200 families are getting help with food for the holidays.