Salvation Army spreading much-needed Christmas cheer in annual toy drive

Giveaway attracted over 300 families struggling from the pandemic, financial loss, and some still recovering from Hurricane Florence.
Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 6:39 PM EST
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TRENTON, N.C. (WITN) - Christmas is still on, and The Salvation Army of Jones County is making sure of it.

Even in the strangest of years, children in Eastern North Carolina will still wake up to presents under the tree.

“We have to stay prayed up,” said Calandra Murphy Smith of Pollocksville. “We have to thank everybody because they don’t have to do this for us.”

The non-profit group held its annual toy drive giveaway Thursday morning. Cars lined up before the doors even opened. When all was said and done, over 300 families got their Christmas wish.

The Salvation Army USA is having a toy drive in Trenton this morning! Happening until everything’s gone. Look at this line already! More on WITN-TV throughout the day.

Posted by Liam Collins WITN on Thursday, December 17, 2020

“Because of the virus and everything going on, it’s just that put a little damper on the holiday spirit,” said Brittany Jones, who quit her job when she got pregnant to stay safe during the pandemic.

The drive included hundreds of bikes and bags of toys for families who reserved their gifts in advance.

“The community came together to support these angels and to help these families out and help kids have a good Christmas,” said Laura Hagerman of The Salvation Army of Jones County.

That’s the main goal, said organizers, to support families just trying to bring some normalcy to a holiday season plagued by a year that’s been anything but.

“There’s just a lot of need right now, and some of the people here haven’t even recovered from Florence,” said Beverly Hines of Jones County Community Hope.

They’re hoping the holiday cheer makes a difference in today’s recovery and beyond.

“Everybody’s trying to help each other,” said Murphy Smith. “I think that’s what we need more than anything. Just helping each other.”

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