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Salvation Army seeking donations

Dec. 09, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Huntington resident Laura Pyle volunteers with The Salvation Army in hopes of helping those in need while setting a good example for her daughter, Rachelle Singer.

Rachelle, 5, handed out informational flyers with her mom all day Saturday in front of Walmart along U.S. 60 as part of The Salvation Army's Fill the Truck Campaign.

Volunteers at Walmart stores in Barboursville and Wayne also stood in front of box trucks, donated for the day by Locomotive Express in Hurricane, as shoppers filled them with toys and coats that will make their way underneath the Christmas trees of needy children in the area, said Debbie Thacker, a social service worker with The Salvation Army.

That motivated Singer to stand outside with her mom and encourage shoppers to donate whatever they were able to give.

"I want to help all of the kids get toys for Christmas," she said. "If I hand out these papers, that helps those kids have a good Christmas."

Volunteers from the Huntington Fire Department joined Singer and her mother at Walmart along U.S. 60 and helped them fill six shopping carts of toys before noon. On their own, Pyle and Singer had filled at least two more shopping carts before 2 p.m. The total number of toys collected at all three locations had not been tallied Saturday evening.

In addition to the Fill the Truck event, this week marked the end of week two of The Salvation Army's 122nd annual Red Kettle Campaign, which takes place in front of Walmart and Sam's Club stores throughout the country.

Locally, $40,000 was raised during the campaign, and that money goes toward providing food, clothing, shelter, financial assistance and other services to families in need throughout the year.

Thacker said all donations, from toys and coats to cash and time, will go toward helping hundreds of kids on The Salvation Army Huntington Corps' Angel Tree.

"We all just want to help make people happy, and, during the holidays, there's nothing like seeing the excitement on kids' faces when they receive these gifts," Thacker said. "The reason we want to get out here and help now is because it is one step in making sure we take care of these kids and their families when they need it all year long."