Annual toy distribution effort takes an army, children

Toys spark child's imagination

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 4:56 pm

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Jamie Forzato,

WASHINGTON – Not every parent can afford to buy their child a gift this holiday season. But the Salvation Army wants to make sure those kids don’t go empty-handed.

On Saturday, 150 volunteers participated in the Salvation Army’s D.C. Angel Tree Warehouse Community Day. They assembled and organized a mountain of donated toys that will be distributed to 6,000 underprivileged children in the District. More than half of the volunteers were children.

“Their parents can’t afford to get them toys so we’re helping them out,” says 11-year-old Amalia Taylor. “They need toys so they can be happy and help their imagination.”

Tashua Parker brought her son to teach him the value of community service.

“I want my son to realize how blessed and fortunate he is to have what he has,” Parker says. “And I want him to know that life is about giving and helping others.”

The 30,000 square-foot warehouse was filled with gifts like basketballs, bikes, dolls and skateboards.

Ken Forsythe, the communications manager for the Salvation Army National Capital Area Command, says toys were donated by Angel Tree sponsors from Virginia, Maryland, D.C., civic groups and businesses.

“Across the entire National Capital Area, the Salvation Army will be able to put a Merry Christmas smile on 14,000 children’s faces because of the generosity of our sponsors,” Forsythe says.

The number of volunteers for Saturday’s event increased by 15 percent compared to last year. The toys will be distributed to families in mid-December.

The Angel Tree program matches sponsors with needy children. The sponsors choose gifts based on a child’s age and gender. To find out more information about how to help, click here.

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