Eight carts stood in a row at the checkstand at Walmart, filled with $2,251 worth of toys and gifts. The toys and presents were often pink, and all purchased for 7-14 year old girls.The firefighters bought the toys for the Salvation Army's Christmas Assistance Program, specifically its Toys for Joy program which still is seeking donations of new, unwrapped toys.“We're helping two times as many people as we helped last year and last year was up from the year before,” said Salvation Army Lt. Mark Cyr.Bob Schreihans, president of the Carson City Firefighters Association, has been involved in the program since he started, 29 years ago.“We can help the community and do some nice things for the kids in town,” he said.The Carson City Firefighters Association also will donate to a local foodbank, he said.The money for the toys and for the foodbank came from the firefighters, he said.While Schreihans has been working the program for 29 years, Cyr will be celebrating his second Christmas in Carson City, although he has worked on the Toys for Joy program in past years in other cities.Families who qualified for the Salvation Army's assistance earn one and a half times the poverty level or less. The families were registered in November and early December, Cyr said.The program needs another 300-400 toys for the 1,212 children registered. Before the shopping spree by the firefighters, the number was around 800 more needed gifts.Donations can be brought to 661 Colorado St. or to Capital Ford's Toys for Joy drop-off.The toys will be distributed all day Thursday, something Cyr said makes all the work worthwhile.“A lot of families are struggling,” he said.
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