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"Christmas City" Helps Families Make Ends Meet

Last updated on Thursday, December 18, 2008

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Nearly a thousand Indianapolis families did their toy shopping at the State Fairgrounds Wednesday, at The Salvation Army’s annual “Christmas City.”

Each year, The Salvation Army takes applications from working families struggling to make ends meet and still leave their kids something under the tree. Those families pick two gifts from among 14,000 donated toys and games. Each family also receives a board game, an assortment of stocking stuffers, and a gift card for older kids who may be tougher to shop for.

Volunteers manned a horseshoe of tables loaded down with gifts from teddy bears to action figures. Toys were sorted by age group, with one section for toddlers, another for three-to-five-year-olds, then separate boys' and girls' sections for grade-school-age kids.

Salvation Army Development Director Jeff Stanger says the recession drove demand up by two-thirds over last year -- about 2,300 kids will open presents picked out at the event.

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