Hundreds line up for help with holiday gifts

If it had snowed, the old Haverty’s building in Wilmington could have passed as the North Pole. Outside, hundreds of parents lined the building.

Inside, looked like Santa’s workshop, with 20,000 toys, 3,000 bags of clothes, and 200 of Santa’s helpers hard at work to help 1,400 needy families fill their shopping carts.

“I just think it’s selfish not to volunteer, if you have the time and it’s not that much effort. I mean, what else would I be doing right now,” said volunteer Mike Lance.

Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army worked together to make the holidays brighter for area families. “It’s very rewarding in knowing that we have made somebody’s Christmas a lot better, and knowing that the community has really poured out their hearts,” added Salvation Army’s Major Butch Mallard.

Each parent got to pick two green-dotted toys like a baby doll, and two red-dotted toys like a baseball glove and ball. Then they get a bag of clothes from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree.

Shawanda Shepard got laid off and could not afford Christmas. She’s shopping for her two daughters. “There are a lot of people out there that care about those that don’t have as much as they do. And I really appreciate it. I didn’t know what I was going to be able to do this year. And because of the Salvation Army and the loving people of Wilmington, we’ll have a good Christmas.”

With the community’s help, the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots were able to help about three hundred more families this year than last year.

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