Six thousand kids in need got toys from the Salvation Army on Thursday. The giveaway is how they plan to keep the Christmas spirit alive during all the chaos.
It comes all while the nonprofit in Collier County is dealing with the aftermath of a fire that destroyed food donations.
On Thursday, though, the salvation army was filled with Christmas spirit. There were more than 30,000 toys for families to choose from, organized by age and size.
Christmas just got a little brighter for 6,000 kids and families. Nery Padilla is one of the thousands of families who signed up for the salvation army toy giveaway.
“I have two boys. My little boy is 5 years old,” said Padilla.
Padilla says every child deserves to open a gift every Christmas, and this event allows him to do just that.
“It’s incredible to see how this time he’s going to open gifts, and he deserves it,” Padilla said.
Maria Ramos is the director of seniors volunteers and holiday services. She says they do this every year, but they have seen more people sign up this time around.
“When we opened our registration, we noticed that we had a lot of new families because of the storm that we needed to help, so we try to help those families as much as we can,” said Ramos.
Ramos says without the community’s support, it would not have been possible.
“We’ve been collecting donations since October. Toys for Tots boxes went out, we had about 325 boxes that went out, and thank goodness they all came back filled with toys, and we’re located at 6040 Collier Boulevard, which is where folks are dropping off toys,” Ramos said.
Donations families say they’re grateful for.
“Thank God, you know, the Salvation Army every time, every year brings to us the opportunity to bring to our kids, you know, what we want,” Padilla said.
The Salvation Army said there is a chance they run out of toys. If you want to help prevent that, you can by dropping off donations here at 6040 Collier Blvd. The Salvation Army will be there from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Friday.