sioux falls, sd
The amount of toys the Angel Tree receives every year varies. But here in Sioux Falls, the community always responds with overwhelming results.
The tables are filled and the families in need of a little Christmas help are getting the pick of the litter when it comes to Christmas toys.
"This year, the first three weeks were slow. But this community always responds and over the last four or five days it has been overwhelming the gifts have flooded in," Gene Geddow with the Salvation Army Advisory Board said.
For some time, officials at the Salvation Army weren't sure they would be able to fill the tables let alone put gifts under the tree for nearly 2,000 kids this year. But now as families scan the options and pick their toys, all the hard work is paying off for people such as Geddow.
"The gifts aren't from us; they are from the community and the moms and dads, grandpas and grandmas. And I love just being able to help those families provide a nice Christmas for their kids. That's what this is all about; that's what the season is all about," Geddow said.
It's a need that has been constant over the years and one that will continue for years to come. But the continuing feeling for the volunteers here is having a good sense of community to keep helping.
"We are all in this together and there are people in this town that can't do what they want to for their kids. And we aren't talking a lot of luxuries, we are just talking some nice gifts under the tree so children feel good about giving and receiving," Geddow said.
And what keeps bringing Geddow back each year, is one thought.
"I think it's something we need to do to help families that may be struggling," Geddow said.
Friday is the last day people can pick up toys at Toy Town. The remaining gifts will be given out over the weekend at the Salvation Army or put away until next year.