Salvation Army Farmington Corps distributes bags of toys for struggling families

Matt Hollinshead
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – The Salvation Army Farmington Corps provided some much-needed Christmas cheer amid the COVID-19 pandemic, distributing bags of toys for struggling families through its annual Angel Tree Program on Tuesday.

Major Tammy Ray said parents signed up for their children to receive gifts via a wish and need list, which is made into tags and placed on trees all over town.

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Due to the COVID-19 restrictions placed on stores, Ray said fewer people were able to purchase those listed items for donation. That meant the Salvation Army had to purchase more of those items itself using a grant, Ray said.

"This year was a lot more challenging," Ray said. "It was quite a bit of shopping."

Volunteer Delrio Tippeconnie brings out two bags of toys to a vehicle on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, at the Salvation Army Farmington Corps in downtown Farmington.

The bags were taken out to the parking lot on the side of the building, located at 319 W. Broadway Ave. in downtown Farmington, and placed inside vehicles.

Ray said the Salvation Army Farmington Corps spent about $6,000 on toy donations, which amounted to roughly 700 children getting gifts.

Ray said many of the families that have come to her have family members who are unemployed and had used up their unemployment benefits entering the holiday season, making the Angel Tree Program distribution an even more valuable service.

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"It's an incredible blessing to be able to serve our community in this way. We've had just some heartbreaking stories of families that are really struggling," Ray said. "We're so grateful that we're able to help people in this crazy year."

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577, mhollinshead@daily-times.com and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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