TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – Over 400 local families will have Christmas gifts this year with help from Salvation Army and community donations.
The Salvation Army had an emergency toy drive on Thursday. Thousands of toys were donated for parents that couldn't provide Christmas for their children.
"We don't want to see any child left behind," said Captain Kevin Zander of the Salvation Army. "[Parents] have to make tough choices…Are they going to put food on the table or toys under the tree?"
The donations meant hundreds of parents in Toledo won't have to make that choice this Christmas.
One such parent was Tony Barker, a father of seven who said this is the first year he has been unemployed and unable to afford gifts.
"Before I got here, I thought, 'Wow, the kids aren't going to have a Christmas at all,'" Barker said. "It hurts a little bit because they expect so much and you can't give it to them. It's hard."
The Salvation Army still needs community support.Donations from their kettle bell campaign are down this year – $10-15,000 belowwhere they were at this time last year.
Zander said the kettle bell campaign is one of theirbiggest fundraiser's of the year, and money raised helps the Salvation Armyprovide for people in need.
The Salvation Army of Northwest Ohio covers fivecounties, and they're goal is to raise $570,000. Zander said if they don'treach that goal, cuts will have to be made.
"We recognize everyone is feeling the economy, but we'rejust asking people to really dig deep and support us," he said. "That moneysupports us for the whole year."