Partnering for a better Christmas
for struggling families
Four Salvation Army community centers in Manhattan served as host sites in early December for “His Toy Store,” a Hope for New York outreach program that provides new toys to families in need during the holidays.
Salvation Army centers on West 14th Street, in Times Square, and on the east and west sides of Harlem hosted the program. Hope for New York raised all of the toys for the pop-up stores and provided the on-site volunteers, while The Salvation Army provided the host sites and invited the families.
“I think it’s a great partnership, most of all because we’re coming together with a common goal and that is to make Christmas special for the families around our neighborhood and the surrounding areas as well,” said Auxiliary Captain Giovanny Guerrero, Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army’s New York Temple Corps on West 14th Street, which served several hundred families at his store on Dec. 9th
“It’s a great experience, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help others,” said Captain Ester Guerrero, Commanding Officer, with her husband, of The New York Temple Corps. “We also got a lot of people from Puerto Rico. I was talking to some of the families, and they told me that they lost everything, and they’re so grateful they can come and get something for their children for Christmas.”
Hope for New York provides volunteer and financial resources to nonprofit organizations serving poor and marginalized populations in New York City, including The Salvation Army, a partner affiliate with the group since 2012.
“It’s something wonderful,” said Vilma, who came to shop at the store for two children not her own but whom she knows are in need. “So many kids out there right now, their parents can’t afford to buy them anything, and it’s a time that they expect things, and [the store] is a good thing.”
In addition to the toys distributed here, The Salvation Army will be collecting thousands more toys of its own to distribute to families in need this Christmas season through its various centers around the Greater New York area.
While parents shopped at “His Toy Store” at the New York Temple Corps, children entertained themselves at arts-and-crafts tables, enjoyed refreshments, and interacted with spirited volunteers (wearing Santa hats), who also provided gift-wrapping services for the parents.