Toy distribution begins at Salvation Army of Greater Rochester
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It was shopping day Wednesday for more than 1,500 local families getting a little holiday help from the Salvation Army of Greater Rochester.
Donations to the Red Kettle campaign and Toys for Tots translate into a lot of smiles and relief.
More than 5,000 families will be gifted holiday essentials, including toys, over the next four days. This year, more than 200 people have volunteered their time to make sure families in need can celebrate.
“We usually think of Christmas as a very joyous time, but for many people, it can be a heart-wrenching time and difficult time,” said Doug Burr, the Finger Lakes coordinator of the Salvation Army. “For people who have lost someone, or if they don’t have the money to make a good Christmas for their kids or to eat or that sort of thing. So, it’s good that the community will step up and help those people, it’s really important.”
The demand is there, according to Burr.
“We had four days when they could sign up and after the first day we were full,” he said.
The families were grateful to do some shopping without having to stress over how much any given item costs.
“They’re assigned a volunteer who walks them through and they get to choose their own toys, be specific, for their own children,” Burr said.
For Christin Jackson, it was a huge relief.
“This is actually my first year coming here and me, personally, I think this is actually amazing that they’re doing this, especially for single parents and just families that unfortunately can’t do it this year.”
She lost her job this year and has been struggling to make ends meet. She’s been stressing over how much Santa would be able to swing this year.
“It’s helping my daughter get more gifts this year and it is sort of helping my pockets because I can’t really afford to do Christmas this year,” she said.
The families were also given a basket of food to help with their holiday meals.
“We usually think of Christmas as a very joyous time but for many people it can be a heart-wrenching time if they’ve lost someone or if they don’t have the money to make a good Christmas for their kids or to eat or that sort of thing so it’s good that the community will step up and help those people it’s really important,” Burr said.
Jackson is so thankful for the happiness that generosity will bring to her 6-year-old.
“I got so much cool things for my daughter that she’s going to love. I just can’t wait.”
The Red Kettles will be out this weekend, as will boxes for Toys for Tots.
We have your guide to drives this holiday season here.