Salvation Army's 'Toy and Joy' store brings toys to families in need this season

    Check out Angel Tree locations for tags indicating what gifts to donate this season. (KBOI Photo)

    There's a different kind of toy store for 3,000 local children in need this Christmas: A client-choice store.

    At the Salvation Army, parents can choose any item based on their kid's gender and age.

    They have gifts for infants and children up to 12 years of age with stuffed animals, board games and Nerf guns. It's all set up for an important reason. It allows parents to feel as if they are buying for their children with their own money.

    "They can leave feeling good, and the children can have the best Christmas morning possible," said Wendy Wong, director of family services for the Salvation Army.

    Parents who sign up are given bags and a volunteer to help them select items.

    While they have a good amount of donations already, Wong says there is still a need. She especially says those who are interested should buy a gift for boys aged 10-12, as they are currently running low.

    How do you know what gifts to donate? Angel Trees around the Treasure Valley have multiple "tags" with certain gifts based on the child's age, gender and/or interests written on them.

    You can pick up a tag from any Angel Tree location throughout town, and drop off any donations at KBOI 2News or the Salvation Army location on State Street too.

    "We'll still make sure that they get in the hands of families in need," Wong said.

    Just a few dollars can make a priceless holiday for a local family.

    "We get to see the difference for parents who would otherwise not be able to provide a Christmas for their kids. The joy, the tears, and the thankfulness," Wong said.

    Gifts can be donated up to Dec. 22.

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