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Hastings Salvation Army teams up with Walmart for toy drive
Wal-mart and the Salvation Army are teaming up to make Christmas merrier for area children and they're doing through the fill the trailer toy drive. Now this is going on on December 8th and Major Abe Tamayo joined News 5 to talk about the event:
Abe: It's this Saturday. It's a one shot opportunity from Wal-mart this year to help us gain some of the toys that we've lost over the season and so from 8:00 to 5:00 we'll have volunteers out in front of Wal-mart handing out flyers of suggestions of toys. Bring the toy back to us and we'll put it in a trailer. We'll hopefully fill the trailer with toys for Christmas this year.
Amy: And so you just need to be on the lookout for those people handing out the flyers so you know exactly what to get?
Abe: Exactly. And then go on in and purchase the gift. There's different price breaks on that flyer and suggestions for those. Purchase a gift, bring it back, help fill the trailer and make it a joyful Christmas for children this year.
Amy: Do you have a goal of how many toys you'd like to collect?
Abe: We need about 15,000 to meet all the expectations that are out there across the board. So this toy drive is really critical to our need. We're so grateful to Wal-mart for offering this initiative and helping us reach that goal.
Amy: And how exactly are these toys going to be distributed?
Abe: Well, some of the children the toys are designated for will get the toys directly. Otherwise, we set up a toy shop for qualified families and the parent has the pleasure of coming through and shopping for the toy to give their child for Christmas Eve.
Amy: Fantastic. Now you also have a few other things going on. Of course, you have the kettle drive and your goal of $175,000. The big fundraiser for the entire year. How is it going?
Abe: It's going very well. We're about 26% or $46,000. But we need volunteer bellringers to come out and help ring or people to drop off checks or mail them to the Salvation Army at 400 South Burlington in Hastings.
Amy: Let's hear how the Christmas box drive is going.
Abe: It's going very well. We're receiving applications for families in need. That application deadline is coming up very quickly in 5 days on the 10th of December. So if you know of families in need or are a family in need please come down and fill out the applications so we can process that in time for our food boxes and toy distribution later in December.
Amy: And are you still accepting donations - either toys or food - for these as well?
Abe: Oh, absolutely. Donations are essential to our giving. We need food to stock the boxes and toys to put in the toy shop for parents to shop for their children.
Amy: Do you have lists of the kind of toys you need? Or you'll find a place for whatever people can bring?
Abe: You can do it a variety of different approaches. You can go out to Wal-mart or the Imperial Mall and get an angel off the Angel Tree, tag it and send it back to the courtesy desk and we'll pick it up and have it ready for the children.
Amy: And these are specifically people in the Hastings area that you said have filled out an application saying what they need for their home?
Abe: That is correct. We handle Adams County. We do have some from Clay County, another entity that we work with. But, certainly, people are welcome to come in and place an application for a food box or toys or both if the family needs it.
Amy: And you've had a couple great sponsors this year. Mary Lanning donated their hams as they did last year. Any other things that have stood out?
Abe: Well, they're also collecting some coats and toys for us as well. We have a community partner, we have an Angel Tree and another entity in town. So we have places around town or just bring it down to the Salvation Army and drop them off. We're happy to receive those so we can target the gaps.
Amy: A very busy season! Lots of opportunities to serve and get in the Christmas spirit.
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