Salvation Army brings Christmas to 400 families

It's the beginning of toy distribution week at the Niles Salvation Army.

This year the Salvation Army is making Christmas possible for nearly 400 local families.

Workers are counting on community members donations in order to make sure family's have what they need.

“When you get families that are in hard times, it's hard for them to ask for help in the first place,” said Director of Caring Ministries Jan Nowak.

The Salvation Army in Niles is taking the stress off of Christmas for hundreds of families in need.

Downstairs in the basement are hundreds of brown paper bags – all stuffed with food and marked by family size, ready to be handed off. And upstairs are toys. Lots and lots of toys.

“The most magical moment for me is when we're helping a family, and mom or grandma see that one gift and they clutch it and draw to it and go “oh this is exactly what she wanted,” Nowak explained.

Clothes, teddy bears, and books are also provided.

But Nowak said supporting this many families requires more effort than usual.

“This looks like a lot of toys but when you think that 400 families are coming through here selecting toys for their children, this goes quickly,” she said.

They are asking for your help to keep the donations coming in.

Nowak also wants people to remember the need doesn't end with Christmas.

“Just because the kettle bells stop ringing or people start putting their garland away doesn't mean the need stops. People in our community are hurting and they're in need. And that need doesn't stop. So the support can't stop either,” said Nowak.

Newly, unwrapped toys and cash donations can be dropped off at the Niles Salvation Army, located at 424 North 15th Street.

They are also asking for volunteers to help distribute gifts. 
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