December 20, 2005
Months after hurricanes hit the gulf coast, many families are spending Christmas far away from home. They can barely afford to start over, much less buy gifts for their children. News 12 visits the Salvation Army’s Annual Toy Shop where workers are seeing some faces they know, but several new ones as well.
Every year the Toy Shop opens, Kathrina Jones is there. She’s a single parent with eight children.
“I don’t know what’s over there, they want bikes, but I don’t know, we thank God for whatever we got,” Jones said.
The Salvation Army offers the largest amount of Christmas assistance in the CSRA. And while there is a picture full of toys, the list is long for those who applied to come through the shop in the next few days.
“We’re gonna help the people can we help with the toys we got and they’re gonna be grateful for it,” said Tracie Parker, Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army is helping local families but also this year they’re helping those evacuated from hurricanes along the gulf coast. It’s a need so great that the room used to stock the Toy Shop is getting closer and closer to empty.
Tammie Gilds is shopping for her five children. After relocating from New Orleans, she can hardly believe the help she’s getting.
“It’s very nice and there’s a lot of friendly people here, I’m just shocked,” Gilds said.
While her children will get plenty of toys, even coats…
“She might be able to fit this one, my little baby,” Gilds said.
…They won’t get everything on their list.
“I think I’m gonna get ‘em the things they need, but I think they’re gonna miss our family the most,” Gilds said.
For Kathrina, the people here are like her family. All eight of her children were adopted on this Angel Tree and will get those bikes they really wanted.
“It’s the season to be jolly, we thank God for everything that we got,” Kathrina said.
The Toy Shop is open until Thursday. That’s the makeup day when anyone who hasn’t received Christmas assistance from another agency can come. You can shop for infants through age 14. And you must have a picture ID, social security card and proof of income and expenses.