Local News

Toy Giveaway a Special Effort by the Salvation Army

Posted December 17, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— We all want to give our kids a special Christmas, and that usually means buying presents. But not everyone can afford lots of gifts. That's where the Salvation Army steps in, by giving away toys to countless families across our state.

Families started lining up at the Durham Salvation Army before 9:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. There was a steady stream of people all day long, all for a chance at tables full of toys. up. It's a lot of work, but they say all you have to do is see the smiles on parents' faces to realize how much it's worth.

Antoinette Karnegay is a single working mom raising four kids. There's no money left for Christmas. She tells her children she's doing her best. Karnegay knows the kids are hoping Santa will bring what they want.

Salvation Army Director Charles Powell says there's nothing more heartbreaking for a parent than to not be able to do something special for their kids at christmas time. That's why the Salvation Army helps low-income families by giving away toys.

Karnegay says she was very excited to get the letter that she had been selected for the toy giveaway. She even cried. To Karnegay, the toys are a blessing.

Joe Kreidler admits Christmas had to be put on the back burner in his family. He's glad the toy giveaway will put a few more toys under the tree.

Dozens of volunteers make the program work, but they say what they give, they get back tenfold.

"We were stopped coming up the walkway, and the lady said 'are you coming here to work,'" volunteer Sharon Craun explains. "She said I want to thank you guys. You made a difference in our Christmas. It made us feel really good."

Each parent got to pick out two gifts and a stocking stuffer for each child. There were also hundreds of gifts from an angel tree donated by members of the community for each family. So, a lot of people walked out of the building with more gifts than they could carry. They were just overwhelmed. You could see it on their faces.

In total, the Salvation Army in Durham will help 1000 families in the area over the holidays.