Toy Giveaway Puts Smiles On Faces

Every Christmas, the old Piggly Wiggly in Long Beach turns into Santa's workshop. It is the collection point for the more than three thousand toys, games and bikes that the Salvation Army gives away to parents determined to make sure their kids get something from Santa.

Loading up her car, Crystal Folkner says she is grateful her kids will have a Merry Christmas.

"Yeah, better than they would if I didn't have this," she says.

The giveaway is always a hectic event coordinated by dozens of volunteers. Reserve Seabee Byron McCloud who volunteers says, "I think it's important we take the time out, take a minute to think about somebody else during the holiday season."

Requests for help are up this year by 17%.  The Salvation Army says it was able to meet the need,  but the agency says it is $22,000 behind in collections over this time last year.

"We're waiting for the money to come in. So the clubs that haven't manned the kettles yet, if they haven't signed up we need you desperately. If folks wanna volunteer to help, we can use volunteers on the kettles or send a check in, everything helps at this point."

Kingsbury says the more the community helps the Salvation Army, the more they can help those who depend on the agency. The kettles will be out until Christmas Eve.