MEDFORD, Ore. – Thousands of toys have been donated to our Holiday Toy and Food Drive, but there is still a need for more. All of the toys are being sorted ahead of next week’s distribution.
Santa’s helpers are busy sorting thousands of presents at the Salvation Army. Each gift will find its way under the tree for a local child in need. It’s a process that hits home for one of the volunteers, who received gifts through a similar program when she was young.
“I had a rough childhood, so even just a stuffed frog…it’s better than nothing,” said Karley Holland, a volunteer from The Job Council.
Now, Karley Holland is another set of hands, sorting the basketballs and trucks into age, gender, and price groups.
“We hope to give the children more than one gift, one under 20 dollars, and one over 20 dollars,” explained Salvation Army’s Development Director, Jackie Agee.
This year, the stacks of toys don’t reach as high.
“We’re in a scary situation because we have 2,653 kids we have to provide for this year,” remarked Salvation Army volunteer Brandon Thoms. “I would say with the toys we have here now, we can probably fill about 12-1500 kids.”
Of all the stacks, probably one of the slimmest is for girls aged 8-12. Good gift ideas for them include curling irons and makeup and jewelry sets. On the other side of the building, bags are being filled with holiday food items. Each of the some 3,000 bags will go to local families in need. The food and presents will make a lasting impression, like they did on Karley.
“It’s going to be incredibly special, it’s going to make them feel like they’re worth something,” Karley said.
The Salvation Army says the toys will be paired up with a child on Thursday. They will then be distributed to families next week. There is still a need for toys for children under the age of three and for children 10 to 12. You can donate a new toy or non-perishable food item for a holiday meal at most Southern Oregon Fred Meyer stores. Our Holiday Toy and Food Drive runs through next Friday. Click here for more information.