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Toy Town Helps Families

December 20, 2012, 10:00 PM by Brady Mallory

Toy Town Helps Families

Many parents will tell you there is nothing better than seeing their child's face light up while opening presents on Christmas morning. Some families need some extra help and that is why the Salvation Army's Toy Town is here to help.

From Spiderman action figures to Barbie to miniature cars; there was a lot of toys to choose from and Beverly Peterson had to take a quick break.

"I was downstairs and got a cup of coffee and a doughnut for myself and for my husband. We didn't sit down, but we had it," Peterson said.

Peterson shopped for hours but, not for her own grandchildren. Since toys can be pricy, she volunteered to help families in need get them for free. 

Peterson said nearly 1,000 needy families will come through Toy Town on Thursday and Friday. The families have to meet certain income criteria and had to go through a two week application process, to get this help. 

The toys come from the Salvation Army's Angel Tree. There were toys for all ages, but it is not just about the little kids.  The Salvation Army teamed up with Augustana College to make sure teens have something to unwrap too.

"There's not a very big difference between 12 and 13. So, if you think about it, everyone deserves to get a gift for Christmas," Augustana junior and Toy Town volunteer Jolene Lucht said.

All of the dolls, action figures, cars, games and what not left over will go to the Salvation Army for other parents.

Peterson said they are doing pretty good with toys, but donations are always welcome at the Salvation Army. Though it has been a busy time, Peterson knows she is giving some moms and dads a very special Christmas present.

"I think it's very important for them to choose their own toy for their child. They know what the child wants and what their interests are," Peterson said.

And that is something you cannot put a price tag on.

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