Local Agencies Calling for Last Minute Help with Toys

By: Carrie Cline Email
By: Carrie Cline Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ -- Ten days and counting until the jolly old man in the red and white suit visits millions of boys and girls around the globe. But, some parents worry whether toys will be under their tree come Christmas morning.

The Christmas spirit is shining brightly filling last minute requests.

The Salvation Army is trying for one final push to make sure every child has a merry Christmas.

A little less than a week ago, Capt. Bob Mullins was counting the empty spaces left on the angel tree, a program designed to hep children who normally don't get Christmas presents, and wasn't happy.

He said the numbers were large.

However, this week a much different number was calculated.

“I wasn't sure and um, I don't know what to say. Huntington came through,” Chris Flees said.

Chris helps coordinate the program year after year. He said not only were angels taken off the trees and gifts returned, but there were extras. A lot of extras.

“We've never had this many gifts donated as extras,” Chris said.

All of these gifts are now spoken for. The deadline to sign up for them was in October.

But, it's not too late for Cricket's Kids. Cricket Hudson is having her 30th Annual Cricket's Kids Christmas Party on Sunday and any child is welcome.

“When they come through the door, they get a toy they can hold on to and we have lots of books we give away too,” Cricket said.

Then, the children eat and get fruit baskets to take home before Santa hands out more gifts to every child.

“We have 1100 gifts, but I expect we’ll see 1400 children come through that door," Cricket said. "So, we need more gifts.”

Cricket said she knows the community will come through. That's what she said keeps her going and helping right down to the last minute.

“I'll take care of them," Cricket said. "If they come through that door, they'll get a gift. I won't turn a child away.”

If you'd like to drop off toys for Cricket's Kids, you can take them to the Celebration Church at 1900 Jefferson Avenue in Huntington's west end.

The Cricket’s Kids Christmas Party is this Sunday, December 18 from 2-5pm at the Celebration Church. For more information or questions, you can call 304-412-2032.

Also, while the Huntington Salvation Army is nearing its goal the Charleston Salvation Army is still in need of more donations.

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