More than 6,000 area families need help to make the holidays merry this year.
WBNS-10TV has joined Walmart, WCOL and the Salvation Army to extend a Helping Hand for the Holidays.
The goal is to provide gifts for families that need help.
Nickoll Haughn's children are discovering the wonder of the holiday season as they learn how to decorate a tree.
She and her husband have three kids, and she wants to make sure that Christmas morning is full of wonder for them.
The Haughns both work full time but at low wage jobs. They worry that there won't be much money for gifts, so they signed up for A Helping Hand at the Holidays.
"That way they can wake up and actually be excited, and that way, they can have a Christmas, just open some gifts. (It) doesn't have to be a lot, but just something under the tree,” said mother Nickoll Haughn.
On Dec. 19, the Haughns will arrive at the state fairgrounds and be guided through the toyshop by a volunteer. There, toys will be arranged by age and gender.
"So the family will pick out what toy will work best for their child,” said Krita Ross of Salvation Army Social Services.
Each child up to age 14 gets a gift, and the family also takes home a holiday meal.
Ross said 6,300 families have signed up, $1,000 fewer than last year.
“We were a little surprised to see that number but looking at all those ‘help wanted’ signs and knowing through some of our other programs that people are starting to find jobs and secure employment that the need might be a little less, but it's still fairly great,” said Ross.
The simple goal is to make sure that every family has a Merry Christmas.
Ross said the biggest needs are for toys for kids under age two, and girls between the ages of ten and fourteen. They also want donations to help pay for food.
You can drop off a new, unwrapped toy at Walmart. To make a donation by phone you can call 614-821-1010 or from outside Columbus 1-877-220-1010. CLICK HERE TO DONATE ONLINE.
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