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Last Minute Toy Store

INTRO:

The Christmas shopping season is almost over. But for many American families, it never began. 13 million children live in poverty in the U.S. – and this Christmas, there are efforts around the country to provide them gifts. Barry Simmons shows us what one church is doing in Nashville, Tennessee.

SCRIPT:

(Locator: Nashville, Tenn.)

Parents stood in line … some of them all night … to get last-minute help for the holidays.

Sandra Schmitt: “Without this, the kids wouldn’t have anything. So it’s a real blessing to us.”

They came to the Sixty-First Avenue United Methodist Church in Nashville where a “last minute toy store” provides gifts for parents who can’t afford them.

Volunteer with shopper:  “You wanna get this one?”

Toys, clothes, and supplies … more than a hundred thousand dollars’ worth … all brand new and donated by Toys for Tots and area churches.

The Rev. Paul Slentz/Pastor, Sixty-First Avenue United Methodist Church:  “Every parent wants toys for their children at Christmastime. We all know that. And this is our way of helping them out.”

They are helping parents like Chandra Patton who, this Christmas, is shopping for nine children.

Chandra Patton: “Nine kids, it’s sometimes a struggle. So this helped us a lot. It really did.”

This time last year, Irene Carrera was shopping here for her son Jonathan. This year, they are volunteering.

Irene Carrera:  “Giving back really does feel a whole lot better than receiving.”

In just four days, the church gave out 14,000 toys…

Sandra Schmitt: “Oh here you go. Yeah. We’re done.”

…granting Christmas wishes for 3,000 children and their parents.

Sandra Schmitt:  “They’ll be wild when they open these.”

TAG:

The last-minute toy store was only open a total of 16 hours over a four-day period. In that time, organizers say they helped 1,200 families.

For more information about the Last Minute Toy Store, contact Sixty-First Avenue United Methodist Church at 615-292-7184.

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