Christmas shopping, Salvation Army style

Organization seeking help for toy distribution

Published: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 9:24 a.m. CDT
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(Photo provided)
Toys are lined up in preparation for The Salvation Army Tri-City Corps toy distribution event, set for Saturday in St. Charles. Volunteers are needed to help guests select toys for their children.

ST. CHARLES – The Salvation Army will offer a special kind of Christmas shopping experience, and the Tri-Cities branch of the organization is seeking volunteers to help the process run smoothly.

The Salvation Army Tri-City Corps is seeking volunteers to serve as toy shop escorts for its distribution event, which is set for Saturday. Hundreds of guests, who are in need during the holiday season, will head to The Salvation Army’s location at 1710 S. Seventh Ave. in St. Charles to pick up gifts for their children.

The organization’s gymnasium will be filled with donated gifts. Volunteers will greet guests and help them choose the gifts. They also will keep a tally. Angel Ayala, the volunteer coordinator for The Salvation Army, said the event will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but volunteers are especially needed for shifts that run from noon to 3 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.

Volunteers will help guests select toys for their children.

“We stay with the client,” Ayala said. “We meet them in the chapel, and we meet with them in the toy shop.”

Ayala said volunteers will push the cart and help guide clients to the age-appropriate areas. Also, because there are so many people at the event, she said volunteers can help provide comfort. She said more than 500 families will take part.

“We’re getting to meet people on a one-on-one basis,” she said.

Ayala said it is a good opportunity for those who want to help The Salvation Army, but perhaps “being outside bell ringing is a little too cold for you.”

The organization is seeking those age 18 and older, though Ayala said 16- and 17-year-olds could participate.

Ayala said bellringers also still are needed. Those interested in volunteering should visit salarmychicago.org/stcharles and click on “Volunteer” to sign up or call 630-377-2769.

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