A Treasure Trove of Gifts Collected on Toyland Tuesday
Holiday expenses can put a big strain on an already-tight budget, which is why The Salvation Army offers Christmas Assistance programs – including Adopt-A-Family and Toyland – to help individuals and families in need bridge the gap. Our Angel Tree Toy Drive supplies toys and gifts for Toyland Days, during which parents who are struggling financially can select gifts for their children at no cost.
Businesses and non-profits across the metro have been collecting Angel Tree donations of toys and gifts over the past several weeks. On Dec. 7, Toyland Tuesday, sponsored by KMTV 3, offered these businesses and organizations around town the opportunity to drop off the unwrapped toys they had collected at The Salvation Army’s Renaissance Village campus.
Having a central drop-off location helps to reduce the number of Angel Tree pick-ups in the coming weeks, which in turn allows The Salvation Army to focus its volunteer resources on toy sorting and preparing for Toyland Days on Dec. 17 and 18.
Julie Omer (pictured above) is among dozens of volunteers who are donating their time and energy now and in the coming weeks, helping to organize, sort and prepare thousands of toys for distribution during Toyland Days. Omer retired from Boys Town three years ago and has been a year-round volunteer with The Salvation Army ever since.
“I started with Winter Night Watch, and now I do Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen in the summer, the Back-to-School backpack drive in August and Toyland in December,” she said as she sorted through an enormous box of toys and games, clipboard in hand. “I have always admired the work The Salvation Army does, so volunteering here is a good way to use my retirement years as productively as possible.”
Donations of canned goods and non-perishables were also accepted on Toyland Tuesday, ensuring that The Salvation Army’s Burrows Center food pantry will be well-stocked for the holiday season. Since the start of the pandemic, demand for food has increased at the Burrows Center, with nearly 10,000 grocery orders filled since March 2020.
Volunteers are still needed to help with toy sorting, as well as to assist parents with selecting gifts for their kids during Toyland Days. To learn more or to sign up, please visit our volunteer webpage.