Toy Shops in full swing across the Twin Cities

Dec 17, 2021

Right now, your donations to The Salvation Army are providing new toys for thousands of children all over the Twin Cities.

The Salvation Army this week kicked off our local Toy Shop distributions (see photos), where preregistered parents from more than 4,200 local households are receiving toys for an estimated 12,000 children now through Saturday. 

The Toy Shops are abuzz with hundreds of Salvation Army volunteers as they sort toys, stuff them into large red bags, and deliver them to families waiting inside their cars.

A single mom named Aaron (pictured below) was thrilled to receive toys for her two little kids. She is thankful to everyone who has supported Toy Shop.

“We’ve been through so much with COVID – losing jobs and not knowing how we’re going to eat,” Aaron said. “It’s nice to be able to provide a good Christmas for my kids because they’re so young. This is huge for us.”

The Toy Shops are being held at three churches – CrossWinds Church in Stillwater, Emmanuel Christian Center in Spring Lake Park, and Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul. All three churches graciously agreed to host contactless, drive-through toy distributions. Prior to the pandemic, Toy Shops were held at each of The Salvation Army’s seven Worship and Service Centers in the Twin Cities, where parents would hand-select toys themselves.

Toy Shops are made possible by hundreds of kindhearted volunteers who give their time to serve others. That includes volunteer Megan Lane, who served at the Toy Shop in Spring Lake Park on Wednesday and Thursday.  

“It’s exciting to see how many people we’re helping and to see God’s work,” Megan said. “I enjoy getting to do this. It’s totally amazing.”

Thousands of toys were donated in response to grassroots toy drives and also KSTP’s Stuff the Sleigh drive, which included toy drop-off locations at metro area HOM furniture, SPIRE Credit Union, Warners’ Stellian, Minnesota National Guard, and Minnesota Rusco locations. These companies recently dropped off truckloads of donated toys at our headquarters in Roseville (pictured).

The Salvation Army thanks every donor, volunteer, church, and partner for making this year’s Toy Shops possible. 

“Because of their generosity, hope will march on for thousands of children and families this Christmas season,” said Lt. Col. Dan Jennings, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “May God bless you all.”

You can do something good this holiday season by donating to The Salvation Army, volunteering, or ringing bells at a Red Kettle. Your help will provide food, shelter and care for local families in need. Because of you, Hope Marches On

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