Toy Shops off to a great start

Dec 19, 2019

The Salvation Army’s first day of distributing toys in the Twin Cities was a triumph: 1,176 families served, representing nearly 5,000 children. (See photos.)

Up to 12,000 more kids will receive a present on Christmas morning thanks to our seven metro Toy Shops, which kicked off yesterday and continue until Dec. 23.

Toy Shops allow preregistered parents to pick out new toys for their kids ages 14 and under. Salvation Army volunteers escort each parent as they “shop” for presents amid piles of donated toys. Parents also receive stocking stuffers and wrapping paper, with basic needs items (clothing, hygiene products) also available for those who need them.   

Toy Shops are a godsend to parents like Leslie, a hardworking single mother of four kids ages 2, 5, 9, and 12. She moved to Minnesota in August after living in Mexico for the past three years. 

“Toy Shop is such a big help,” said Leslie, who picked out Hatchimals, board games, and other toys for her kids. “I just got my own apartment last month, so money is tight while I get on my feet.”

Additional Toy Shop events are held at Salvation Army Northern Division locations across Greater Minnesota and North Dakota. 

Toy shortage

The Salvation Army is still behind on toy donations in the Twin Cities, especially for kids ages 0-2 (1,200 toys needed) and boys ages 6-9 (1,050 toys needed).

You can help The Salvation Army provide toys for children in need by giving in any of the following ways:

  • Donate online. The Salvation Army will use your gift to buy toys.
  • Drop off new, unwrapped toys at Salvation Army headquarters, 2445 Prior Ave. N., Roseville. A secured receptacle is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Buy toys online and have them shipped to The Salvation Army, 2445 Prior Ave. N., Roseville, MN 55113.

Additional ways to give can be found in our latest story about the toy shortage.  

Thank you, donors and volunteers

Toy Shops are made possible by droves of kindhearted Salvation Army donors and volunteers who believe that every child should have a toy on Christmas morning. 

Our volunteers range from everyday people and families, to employees from businesses and organizations such as Wells Fargo, UnitedHealthcare, and the front office of the Minnesota Wild (pictured right) – all of whom were spotted helping out during the first day of Toy Shop. 

“We love our volunteers,” said Lt. Col. Lonneal Richardson, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “Their generosity captures the spirit of what The Salvation Army is all about – giving without expecting anything in return.”

Our donors are an equally diverse bunch, and their generosity often strikes when we least expect it. This morning, for example, we received a surprise donation of toys from the 133rd Air National Guard (pictured left). And just last week, King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury dropped off 1,500 toys. 

“We love our donors just as much as our volunteers,” Richardson added. “Their resources are the fuel that allows The Salvation Army to fight for good.”

Thousands of hardworking families are battling poverty in Minnesota and North Dakota. You can help them win by donating $25 a month or becoming a bell ringer. Join The Salvation Army this Christmas season and #FightForGood.


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