Abilene nonprofits determined not to let toy shortage keep them from bringing smiles to Big Country kids

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The slow return of the global supply chain, which started with the pandemic, is having a major impact on Big Country economies. 

With holidays right around the corner, annual Abilene nonprofit campaigns like Toys for Tots and the Angel Tree program are making sure families can provide presents for their kids this year. 

The pandemic has caused a long list of shortages in many items, such as car parts, toilet paper, lumber, and now Christmas toys.  

“This year we’re trying to help out around 15,000 kids in the surrounding counties by spreading the word,” said Sergeant Treston Shepherd.

Sgt. Shepherd says last year COVID-19 put a hold on Toys for Tots, a marine program that rallies children’s toys from the community to help the less fortunate in time for the holidays. 

“We received over $20,000 in donations, which was greatly appreciated because we didn’t receive as much toys as we wanted to,” said Sgt. Shepherd. 

The Angel Tree program is another toy drive with the Salvation Army, who also saw some complications last year. 

“We served approximately 1,300 children last year, which is about 600 families,” said Captain Joshua McKain, with the Salvation Army.

While many toys are made overseas, a lot of places have seen a delay in shipment and distribution, but that’s not stopping the Big Country’s mission to bring holiday cheer to our young ones. 

“We’re always grateful when somebody decides to adopt an angel from the tree and support a less fortunate neighbor,” said Capt. McKain. 

They believe that this year, with the help of the community, they will be able to bounce back with even more toy donations.

“We have a great community in Abilene, I know a lot of people are willing to come out and support. The only thing we need to do is make sure we spread the word about what our organization does and how much it helps benefit the community,” said Sgt. Shepherd. 

If you would like to put a smile on a kid’s face this holiday season, there is plenty of time. For a list of locations of toy bins, you can find around town, click here.  

And to register for the Angel Tree program with the Salvation Army, you can find the application by clicking here.  

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