Toys for Tots Donations Needed - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Toys for Tots Donations Needed

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Starting December 17, The Salvation Army will begin giving away toys to 50 families every half-hour, all week long.

Today, they're sorting toys and making sure children, in need, don't go without, this Christmas.

"We try to match girl toys with girls and boy toys with boys and get them something that they can be proud to be Santa Claus and give to their children on Christmas morning," Salvation Army Major Janene Zielinski said.

Zielinski says they've seen a 10% increase in registrations, this year.

With Nevada's unemployment still standing at 11.5%, many families are still down on their luck.

"Even just recently lost their jobs," Zielinski said. "We've had a lot of families come in and told us that they've just been evicted from their apartment or they're having a very bad life transition, right now."

More than 3,000 families will be coming for help by the end of next week.

"This year, I've seen a lot of looks of desperation, especially on the single moms," Zielinski said. "They're coming here as a last resort. Nobody wants to go to charity to get some help."

In fact, single moms make up about 75% of the parents that are registered, this year.

The Salvation Army says they need toys for 10 to 12-year-old kids, in particular.

"Those remote control cars and craft kits and the really nice Barbies or whatever it might be that you think a 10-year-old or a 12-year-old might enjoy," Zielinski said. "We really need those gifts the most."

There is also a "13 and up" section, set up like a little boutique, and stocked with things that typical teens would have on their wish lists.

It's something people, here, say goes a long way.

"It's so important to their emotional well-being to be able to say 'Hey, I'm important. I got something on Christmas day and somebody cares,'" Zielinski said.

Toys R Us and Babies R Us are collecting toys. For more information on how to can help out, go to

Written by Paul Nelson
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