Volunteers Helping Santa In Schuylkill County

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POTTSVILLE -- In this season of giving, some folks in Schuylkill County are making sure kids get some holiday help.

A staging area for a big toy give-away by the Salvation Army and Toys For Tots is being held at the Four Square church.

Dawn Fernbach is from the Harrisburg area. She drives an hour each way to volunteer in Pottsville.

“We separate by the boys and the girls and the ages and the puzzles and the stocking stuffers. We do it all. It's like a toy factory.”

Andrea Antolick took a day off from work to volunteer.

“The parents are grateful and wonderful stories of mothers who have lost jobs to get something for their kids and I think this is a great way for me to help them.”

Salvation Army officials said requests for toys are up 20 percent compared to last year. About 1,400 children will benefit this time around.

“Folks (are) falling on hard times. Prices of gas maybe and food going up leaves less for the little extras,” said Capt. Tammy Hench of the Salvation Army.

“I feel especially bad for the children but also for the parents that humble themselves to say that I cannot give to my child and I have to depend on someone else to do this,” said Pastor David Poissant  of Four Square Church.

Besides passing out toys, the Salvation Army will be giving out all the ingredients for Christmas dinner on Wednesday and Thursday.