Updated: 12/17/2013 10:53 PM
Created: 12/17/2013 5:45 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
Salvation Army officials said Toyland Express will help 2,000 families in need this Christmas. However thousands of toys were still needed on Tuesday.
Hundreds of volunteers work all year to make the annual event possible, but all that sweat does pay off according to Program Supervisor Nancy Leslie.
“We get a lot of smiling faces and a lot of hugs. The staff lives for the hugs on these days because the people are happy that we're able to do this for them,” Leslie said.
For the families in need the event gives them more than just a ham dinner and some stocking stuffers. Denise Tarrant said she got injured at work and lost her income. She said without Toyland Express that would mean to presents under the Christmas tree.
“There would be no presents. That's hard to say to an 11-year-old girl. I know she would toughen up, but no there would be no Christmas,” Tarrant said. “It really does help a lot for a child, and for my family, and for the food. I'm so very blessed and thankful for the Salvation Army for doing it.”
But the recent cold snap has put a chill on the heartwarming event. Leslie said toy donations were way down this year.
“Bentleyville is low and so is everything else because of the cold weather and stuff we have. We are still short 2,000 toys that we need to have between today and Thursday to get us through this,” Leslie said.
Still, she's hopeful the community will step up by Thursday to give every kid a proper Christmas.
“The public always comes through for us so we're asking for some more help at this point,” Leslie said.
The Salvation Army is asking for new, unwrapped gifts for children ranging in age from infants to 16-years-old. Click here for a list of donation locations.
Special Report: Pattie's Journey
A local woman shares her journey in the fight against breast cancer. She's sharing the struggle of letting go of what she can't control and reclaiming what cancer strips away.
E-Cigarette Business Booming as FDA Proposes New Regulations
Regulating the sale and use of electronic cigarettes is the goal of new rules proposed by the Food and Drug Administration Thursday. If approved, e-cigarette sales would be banned to people under age 18, a warning label would be placed on the devices, and manufacturers would be required to tell the FDA what's in their products.
Cancellations & Closures
We've received a few event cancellations due to the snow. To have your event added to the list, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Man Missing in Itasca Co.
Itasca County Sheriff's Office is asking for your help in finding a missing man, Gregory Arthur Thurston. The 51-year-old man was last seen around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday on foot in rural Bigfork near County Road 52.
Dining Out for Life in Duluth
Eating at one of a half-dozen Duluth restaurants today can help Minnesotans living with HIV/AIDS. The "Dining Out for Life" event raises money for the Aliveness Project.