(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) The Salvation Army held its annual toy drive Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"We’re so excited here in the Salvation Army and every Christmas season of course." Maj. Abe Tamayo, Corps officer, Salvation Army said.
Hundreds of toys were collected by the Salvation Army to go to families in need holiday season.
"[Families] do what they can," Stanley Libby, a volunteer said. "Some families just need the extra help, so that’s what we’re here for."
The volunteers transformed the salvation army’s warehouse into a toy wonderland.
"This is our toy town where people have come and applied for toys and food," Maj. Ronda Tamayo, the organizer said. "Families come in every 10 minutes, and they get to shop for toys for the children in their home."
The so-called "Toy Town" was made possible by generous donors in the St. Joseph and Buchanan county area
"We’re so appreciative of the community’s support ensuring a good Christmas for all our children." Abe Tamayo said.
Organizers shared why the opportunity to make it happen hits home.
"Growing up as a poor person in a poor family of eight," Abe Tamayo said. "If it weren't for the Salvation Army, we wouldn’t have any Christmas, food to eat or clothes on our back."
"I came from a family of seven children," Ronda Tamayo said. We were poor."
Because they understand how hard the holidays can be for needy families, they say they're more than grateful to be in the position to better someone else's holiday.
"I love to see the smiles on the parents as they’re able to come through and to get something for them," Ronda Tamayo said. "It warms my heart to see that we are able to help those in need in our community.