300 families helped by Toys for Joy | NevadaAppeal.com

300 families helped by Toys for Joy

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Greater Nevada Credit Union volunteer Julie Moody, left, helps Angela Thrasher choose toys for her children Friday at the Salvation Army.

Single-mother Angela Thrasher only had enough money to buy her four children one gift each for Christmas this year.

In her opinion, the Salvation Army’s Toys for Joy on Friday became her savior.

“I’m grateful to have people to help out. It’s nice,” she said. “I know what it’s like to not have toys on Christmas.”

Thrasher’s was one of 300 families to benefit from the donations of food and new toys and clothing.

Organizer Maria Batt, who has volunteered in the Toys for Joy program for the past 11 years, said three times more families than last year were determined to be in need in Carson City.

Salvation Army Capt. Erica Helton said they reached out to them all.

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“We had such an increase in need this year, we were luckily blessed with a surplus of toys. There’s nothing but the slim pickin’s left,” she said Friday afternoon.

All 300 families contacted made it in for their share and a few families that wandered into the church were helped as well.

Helton told of one tearful mother who had been expecting a bonus check that never arrived, showing up uninvited and panicked.

“She was crying,” said Helton who admitted the situation brought tears to her own eyes.

After satisfying their requirements, the church was able to help the woman.

“I tell you – as much as this day is a lot of work in the making,” Helton said, “it’s just the moments where you see someone who is so appreciative of a very simple and easy gift that makes all the hard work and sore feet and muscles worth it.”

As Thrasher stuffed an overflowing bag into her backseat, she imagined her children’s faces on Christmas morning.

“They’ll be so happy,” she said. “I’m thankful there are people that do this. It really helps out a lot.”

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.