Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
DULUTH - Places like the Salvation Army are always stretching to meet the needs of Northlanders, especially around the holidays.
This year it's expected to be even more of a struggle.
Not only did the Northland flash flood affect families this past summer, but six months later, it could be the Grinch that steals some people's Christmas.
"We have the financial crisis from the flooding where people are still behind, and that need has even grown," said Toyland Express Organizer Missy LePage.
Last holiday season, the Salvation Army donated more than 20,000 toys to St. Louis Co. children, and with even more families signing up for food and toys this year, they are turning to the community for help.
"Without the community involvement, there is absolutely no way that the majority of the children in need in this community would even have a present to open at Christmastime," said LePage.
One-hundred-seventy Toyland Express boxes will be delivered to Duluth area businesses over the next week, all in order to help a child's holiday wish come true.
Organizers say this year, they are hoping to collect 30,000 toys, and if you are looking to donate, don't wait until the last minute.
"So if everybody can donate earlier that'd be great, cause we can get this all wrapped up!" said LePage.
While there are a lot of children in need here in the Northland, children all over the world are in need as well.
For the nineteenth year, Operation Christmas Child has begun "Collection Week" in order to collect toys for children all over the world.
More than 100,000 volunteers, like Jake Gunderson, will work for the next week to help collect toys for children all over the world.
"It's a great opportunity for people to share the joy of Christmas with other, it's an opportunity to reach kids in some of the most poor and war–torn countries in the world," said Jake Gunderson.
Children from more than 150 countries will receive a shoebox full of toys, candy, and personal, hygiene products.
For most of these children, the shoe box gift will be the first gift of their lifetime.
"It's an honor to join in with all those volunteers and be able to reach out to all these kids that essentially have nothing," said Gunderson.