The Salvation Army and Walmart are partnering this Christmas season to help provide new toys and coats to local children on Christmas, as part of the 122nd Annual Red Kettle Campaign. The "Fill the Truck" toy drive will be hosted at the Chillicothe Walmart on Saturday, Dec. 8.
The event will begin at 9 a.m., and run until 5 p.m., and is open to the general public who would like to donate new toys and coats to children who take part in The Salvation Army programs year-round. Upon arrival, shoppers will receive a list of suggested gifts to help fill the collection bin. Once the donation receptacle is full, The Salvation Army will bring the donations to its Christmas Distribution Site, at 437 Locust Street, and will distribute the gifts to local children in need Dec. 17, 18 and 19.
The Salvation Army's iconic red kettles and bell ringers have been out since Friday, Nov. 23, and will continue to ring bells until Christmas Eve.
Notably, 81 percent of Salvation Army programs saw an increase in need from families with children due to the recession in 2011, according to "Growing up in a Downturn," a Salvation Army report from earlier this year. The report also found that 56 percent of Salvation Army youth programs were operating at or beyond capacity, which includes feeding, education, athletic, artistic, and religious programs. As a result of the recession's lingering impact, The Salvation Army expects the need to continue with this Christmas season.