INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – With only 10 days until Christmas, local charities are facing quite a pinch with toy donations being much lower than anticipated.
As Christmas approaches, the Salvation Army is making a last-minute push to give all children a happy holiday. This year, the Independence branch of the organization is more than 2,000 toys and 650 gift cards below their goal, and is also facing a shortage of volunteers.
The Salvation Toy Shop is a room full of barrels filled with some of the season’s hottest toys. It isn’t the North Pole, but for many families it is as close as they are going to get.
“The importance here is giving a child a toy, a Christmas gift on Christmas morning that they can open that they can call their own,” said Major Butch Frost of the Independence Salvation Army.
Major Frost’s location alone will help more than 700 families have a better Christmas this year, but he worries there may not be enough toys to go around.
“We`ve had some major disasters this past year where maybe individuals have given towards that, which then it keeps them from giving to the local community and local needs,” said Major Frost.
Needy parents come into the toy shop and get to pick two toys for each of their children. Last year, the organization ran out of toys, and Major Frost wants to make sure that doesn’t happen this year. He said the most needed toys are for boys and girls ages nine to 10 years old.
Not only is Major Frost asking for help to fill the toy barrels but also said the facility is in need of about 25 volunteers to help take families through the shop.
“Families can come and go very quickly and we don`t have to keep them waiting in the front, but we can keep them moving through,” said Major Frost referring to the much needed volunteers.
If you would like to help, CLICK HERE to contact the Salvation Army through their website.