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Rescue Christmas: avalanche of donations makes holidays bright for many

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DULUTH, MN-- Community efforts to rescue Christmas for people in need this year are paying off.

Hundreds of families were able to pick up the essentials to make the big day merry.

The Salvation Army gym set up a maze of tables, covered in stuffed animals, games, and toys.

Volunteer Rebekah Ross is a guide, helping parents find the perfect gift for their kids.

"I'm just doing my little part, you know? It's good though. It feels good," Ross said.

Parents have plenty of gifts to choose from, thanks to an avalanche of support.

"They were coming in very slowly and then all of a sudden it's like the heavens opened up and the public came in with toys, which made our jobs and stuff much easier at this point," said Nancy Leslie, Supervisor of Emergency Services for the Duluth Salvation Army.

In years past, parents could pick out two or three toys per child.

This year, after hours of logging and sorting donations, staff made a different call.

"Finally last night we made the decision: six toys per kid," said Leslie. "The public has been so generous, so generous that we've got toys everywhere."

Six toys per child, for the more than 900 parents who will come through this week.

It's a big effort volunteers like Ross are happy to make happen.

"It's amazing. It's what people need right now in this time of hardship and everything. It would be nice to put a smile on kids' faces for the holidays," said Ross.

And it's all thanks to donations, big and small, from a community that truly cares.

"Without volunteers, this would not happen. Without the public donating toys, this definitely would not happen," said Leslie.

Distribution Week wraps up on Friday.

The Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign runs through Christmas Eve, so you still have plenty of time to donate.

Click here to learn more.

Bonney Bowman

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