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Donations down for Salvation Army toy drive

Published 8:08am Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Niles Salvation Army is asking for the community’s help in securing donations for its annual Christmas toy drive.

The non-profit organization will be handing out toys to the area’s needy children Dec. 16-20 at 424 N. 15th St., Niles.

Jan Nowak, director of caring ministries for the Salvation Army, said they are running out of time to get donations needed to make sure every kid has a present to open this holiday season.

“We are really needing the public to respond so that we can make it through the entire week of distribution,” she said. “I want to remind everyone of the opportunity they have to make Christmas happen for the kids.”

The Salvation Army will be at the Niles Wal-Mart for a special toy drive from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14.

Nowak said they are in need of new unwrapped toys for children up to 16 years old.

“We will be out there with church members, community members, Niles High School students collecting toys, so please come out and see us,” Nowak said.

There are several ways to donate other than during the Wal-Mart drive.

People can also drop off toys or non-perishable Christmas food in drop boxes located at around 30 businesses in the Niles area. Donations are also being taken at the Niles Salvation Army.

“A lot of our business owners have been great about letting us leave a box there,” she said. “We’ve had really good business support — it’s been phenomenal.”

The Salvation Army gave away toys to around 400 families, or about 1,200 children last year during the Christmas toy distribution event.

“These families we serve are already going through tough times, feeling like the world is kicking them when they are down,” Nowak said. “We are supposed to be the place where they can come to make it better. We want to help make sure they are able to provide a good Christmas experience for their children.”

Nowak said donations are down for the toy drive and other program, including bell ringing and adopt a family for Christmas.

“If anyone is moved to help us in any way we are grateful,” Nowak said. “Just give us a call and we can find out a way for you to contribute. We are short on everything.”

The Salvation Army can be reached by phone at (269) 684-2660.

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