INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - WISH-TV reached out to the community for help with toy donations and received a generous response.
Donations of new unwrapped toys to the annual WISH-Tree and Salvation Army Toy Drive is making Christmas special for hundreds of Hoosier families who might not otherwise have Christmas.
Lajeanna Lee is gift shopping for her 10 and 18-year-old sons inside the Indiana State Fairgrounds, where the annual Salvation Army Toy Shop is open. She is one of 839 families chosen by the Salvation Army to participate in this year's toy shop.
Lee's sons are among the more than 2,200 children who will have presents because residents took the time to donate.
"It's about being able to get to a point in time to be able to help someone else in need," said Captain Nic Montgomery of the Salvation Army.
Escorted by volunteers, including members of the 24-Hour News 8 news team, Huntington Bank and the Salvation Army, the community effort was made possible.
"In fact this year we had record outpouring of toys coming in through our branches. It was really kind of neat to see," says Mike Newbold, Regional President of Huntington Bank.
It was also a blessing for Lajeanna Lee. Her 18-year-old son is autistic and his father was murdered when the child was 7. The toy shop is Christmas for her kids, while she continues to improve her life.
"I'm strong. You know I've just been in school. I'm working," she says.
Lajeanna expects this year's toy shop to be her last as a shopper.
"This is my third year. But I'm almost finished. I graduate in May and I'll have a good job. Then I can help others myself," she says.
She expects to be back next year to give help, not get it.
"And that's what the Christmas spirit is all about. It's about being able to get to a point in time to be able to help someone else in need," said Captain Nic Montgomery.
While the toy drive has ended for this year, monetary donations are still being accepted.
The huge number of tree limbs knocked down Kokomo when two tornadoes hit the city three weeks ago are starting to disappear.
Police dispatchers around Central Indiana reported a number of vehicle slide-offs occurred Monday morning.
Part of the Monon Trail will be closed Monday morning.