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Archive for Thursday, December 11, 2008

Salvation Army Toy Store helps families have merry Christmas

The Salvation Army's toy store is making Christmas come true.

December 11, 2008

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Ashley Causer, Lawrence, looks through some of the toys that are being given to families at the Salvation Army Toy Store. About 650 children will receive Christmas presents from the store, which is located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. The event runs until Saturday at noon.

Ashley Causer, Lawrence, looks through some of the toys that are being given to families at the Salvation Army Toy Store. About 650 children will receive Christmas presents from the store, which is located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. The event runs until Saturday at noon.

Luis and Paula Valdez, of Lawrence, have five children, and because of The Salvation Army Toy Store they predict a very merry Christmas.

“It’s really nice because with us having such a big family, it’s so hard to get for everybody,” Paula Valdez said. “It makes it easier to get it here. It works out really good for us.”

The Valdez family isn’t alone. More than 250 families who qualify will visit the toy store in Building 21 at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds between Thursday and Saturday to pick up clothes, toys and other holiday items.

“It’s a good time for people to come and not only receive some help, but some Christmas cheer at the same time,” said Salvation Army Corps Officer Wes Dalberg.

The Salvation Army and Toys for Tots collect donations for needy families, and the poor state of the economy hasn’t helped collections.

“Our donations for toys, I believe, have been a little down over past years. Perhaps that’s to be expected,” Dalberg said. “We have had more requests for assistance this Christmas.”

Howard King said he was overwhelmed with the things he picked up for his two young daughters.

“I found a lot of things that they’ve been wanting,” said King, a Lawrence resident. “It is going to make it really big for my daughters.”

A hot item for parents to find is Dora the Explorer gear.

“I can’t afford Dora,” said Cassandra Fraga, Lawrence. “I can get the littler things. She’s a Dora nut. She’s going to be thrilled.”

King’s youngest daughter is also a fan of Dora. “It’s just been a really nice experience here.”

The donations from more fortunate families ensure a happy holiday season for others in Douglas County.

“You worry about it all year long, whether or not it’s going to be good,” Paula Valdez said. “Now it will be.”

And the families are thankful for a chance to make their kids’ Christmas wishes come true.

“I’m supposed to make sure she gets everything she wants and then some,” Fraga said. “Make sure these guys keep doing this every year because it’s awesome.”

The Salvation Army is still looking for toy store volunteers and donations. The store will be open from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. For more information, call Susan Dalberg at 766-5905.

Comments

yellowhouse 6 years ago

WOW, Everyone in this video is a Yellow House Customer..It is such a small town! They are all really great deserving people, and its wonderful their kids will have a good christmas this year!

Darth_Vader 6 years ago

I'm all for hard-working people getting help, BUT I couldn't help but notice....Hannah Montana and Dora the Explorer? Hmmm... those shows are on Disney and Nickelodeon... you have to pay for those channels. When we had satellite, our bill for the small package was around $30. My brother-in-law has the full $120 a month package. Here's my point, you put that $30-120 a month into a jar, you've got a pretty good Christmas AND it wasn't 3 months after we cut the dish that our kids completely stopped talking about HM and other shows they just had to have. So, that cuts out some expense, too. We should be obsessed with giving our kids what they need plus a few nice things for Christmas, but probably not "everything they want and more". Like I said, hardworking families sometimes need help, but I'm also all for helping people make choices that put them into a position where they no longer need help.

Confrontation 6 years ago

I have to agree with you, Darth. I knew a mom who was interviewed for a similar article several years ago. She spends a ton of money on cigarettes, her boyfriend(s), an internet connection (gotta find a new baby's daddy), and all sorts of other junk. She doesn't worry about her kids' Christmas gifts, since she can get them for free. You see, it really sucks that we can't distinguish between who really needs help and who just doesn't want to take care of their own responsibilities. In the end, I'm okay with this, since I know the kids are usually the ones who benefit (unless the parent sells the toys for something else).

Tanetti 6 years ago

I don't disagree that families can have mixed-up priorities, to put it mildly. And certainly cable would be the first thing to go if we were struggling financially. But the marketing for those toys is everywhere, even on free TV channels. Walk around Wal-Mart (or any retail store) and you'll see these characters prominently displayed because they are very popular. There are books and videos at the library for every major TV character you can imagine. And disadvantaged kids do attend school with kids whose families can afford these items (as well as cable), and they wear the clothing with the characters on it and bring the toys to school. So it's unfair and presumptuous to assume these kids have access to hundreds of dollars of cable TV just because of their toy preferences. Before my kids were even watching TV, they both loved Elmo, simply because the marketing was absolutely everywhere. And I think it's safe to say that wanting things just because other people have them isn't limited to children.

Thinking_Out_Loud 6 years ago

Tanetti wrote "...it's unfair and presumptuous to assume these kids have access to hundreds of dollars of cable TV just because of their toy preferences."Oh, fer cryin' in a bucket, Tanetti. Don't we have a right to a little bit of unfounded righteous indignation?

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