HOLLAND, Mich. — The Salvation Army in Holland is kicking off their annual Toy Shop event this week to get free presents into the hands of local struggling families.
Local businesses and organizations have helped collect the donated toys for a few months through Angel Tree Toy Drives. Thousands of toys, clothes and other goods have been collected to serve West Michigan families in need.
Many families are finding it tough to get presents this year after COVID-19 created financial strain. More than 700 families have signed up for the Toy Shop at the Salvation Army in Holland, a new record number.
“Last year we did just under 600 families and this year we have 700 that have signed up and there’s really just a lot of need," Co-Administrator Major Amos Shiels with the Salvation Army serving Southern Ottawa and Allegan counties said.
Parents can pick out the toys and other goods starting Friday.
“Our hope is that families just come in and they see that people care. They see that they’re not alone, they see that there’s hope, that even when things get tight there’s a sense of I’m not alone in this," Major Amos said.
Although registration has closed for families wanting presents, the Salvation Army is looking for volunteers for the event and for their other winter fundraisers. If you'd like to get involved give them a call at 616-392-4461 or visit their website.