The recipients signed up for the Salvation Army and Marine Corps Toys for Tots programs during Goodfellows sign-ups.
Each recipient received a Walmart gift card to buy food for their Christmas dinner before picking out their children’s favorite toy inside the community center.
“It’s our goal to help as many people as we can,” said Nancy Harris, secretary for the Salvation Army.
“We sent out 350 letters and expect all of them to come in,” she said. “We reach out to the community and let them know the services are there for them.”
“It helps out a lot,” said Johnny Spencer just before signing up for the toys and food.
Spencer was hoping to get some toys for his five children, ranging in age from 3 to 16 years old.
“It’s really a blessing,” he said.
Gunnery Sgt. Korey Wight was one of about 11 Marines who helped parents pick out toys.
“This is a beautiful program,” he said. “It’s good that we can be able to help those less fortunate.”
“This is my first year with the program,” said 1st Sgt. Greg Zieba as he helped Ashley Wilson choose toys for her four children.
“Everything we collected goes back to the community.”
“My daughter loves Barbies and the boys want skateboards and basketballs,” said Wilson as she checked out the selection of toys.
“It helps out a lot,” she said. “I just got separated, I don’t get any child support and I make about $400 a month. It feels good to be able to get some stuff for Christmas.”
Mike Fletcher, cops and courts reporter, can be reached at 765-454-8565 or email@example.com.