Ashley Osburn thought her 2-year-old daughter deserved more than she could afford for Christmas.
So on Monday Osburn loaded a shopping cart with stuffed animals, dolls and other presents for her daughter at the Toy Shop, a joint project of the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots to provide gifts for those in need.
"You can get a little bit of stuff for them, but as a parent you feel like you want to do more for them," Osburn said. "This is just so helpful."
Volunteers from the two organizations last week turned Building 21 of the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds into a toy store full of balls, cars, games and clothes.
About 215 families who completed applications are expected to pick out an assortment of gifts for their children. The process began Monday and continues through Wednesday. Families also receive a box of food.
Another 100 families were adopted via angel trees throughout Lawrence. Their gifts will be delivered to them.
Diane Zinn, acting president of the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary, said she talked with one grandmother Monday who was shopping for her four grandchildren. The woman's daughter and son-in-law recently lost their jobs.
"She said their children wouldn't have had Christmas without this," Zinn said.
Mary Jones, who is on the board of directors at Toys for Tots, said watching families browse the toys Monday made months of work worthwhile.
"So many of the children served in this program would get used toys or hand-me-downs," she said. "We don't want any children to go without anything at Christmas time. It's hard for a kid who doesn't have anything."
The makeshift toy store gave Rachel and Sarah Williams a way to shop for their 13-year-old brother.
"There's people who this would help even more than us," Sarah Williams said. "It's going to help a lot."