Salvation Army's Annual Christmas Toy Distribution Underway

RENO, NV - It's that time of year when thousands of families in Washoe County struggle to put even a few gifts under the Christmas tree.

So the Salvation Army is kicking off its annual Christmas toy distribution.

Last year, The Salvation Army helped about 3,100 families throughout Washoe County. Major Janene Zielinski, The Salvation Army's Angel Tree coordinator says they gave away toys to more than 10,000 kids, and this year, they are expecting to help the same amount of people.

But they may have a hard time meeting the need.

"Donations are down about 20% this year," Major Zielinski said. "I think that's because of less days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the bad weather."

If you look around the distribution center on South Virginia St., you'll see tables and boxes overflowing with toys, but they are in desperate need of gifts for a very specific age group.

"We desperately need donations for girls ages 10 and up," Major Zielinski said. "Craft kits are good, blow dryers, hair straighteners, curling irons, makeup kits, anything you can listen to music on is always a favorite. Any one of those items is great."

She says they do have gift cards an anonymous donor gave that they can use to help fill that need. But Major Zielinski said she had hoped to be able to use those cards to buy food for the elderly in our community who are in need.

Donations can be dropped off seven days a week from 9 AM- 7 PM at The Salvation Army Distribution Center.

If you are in need of help this holiday season, registration for the Christmas Toy Distribution begins at 9:00 AM Friday, December 13th.

The Salvation Army Christmas Center is located at 7175 S. Virginia St.,

You can register on any of the following dates:

Friday, December 13, 2013 from 9 AM to 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM (extremely long lines first day)

Saturday, December 14, 2013 from 9 AM to 11:30 AM
Closed Sunday

Monday - Friday, December 16th - 20th from 9 AM to 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Saturday, December 21, 2013 from 9 AM to 11:30 AM

In order to successfully register, you must bring the following items: ID for head of household; proof of Washoe County residency (power bill, lease, etc., documentation must have address), birth certificate or other proof of age for all children (ages 0 - 17) to be registered, and proof of low-income eligibility: pay stubs, SNAP card, etc. Please note that Social Security cards are not accepted to qualify children for this program.

Toy Registration is for children in low income families ages 0 to 17. This year, in most cases, you will register and receive the toys on the same day. However, Registration and Toy Selection can take time. Wait times tend to be less Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

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