DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — This is the second Christmas Marty Watkins has dedicated to the Salvation Army's Toy Shop.
For three days, he guides parents in need around a fully-stocked toy store, giving them the opportunity to choose gifts for their kids.
But at this store, money is no object.
"It's a joy to be able to help and give back to the community," Watkins said. "It gives hope to the families...knowing their trees will not be bare this year.
The Salvation Army pooled together toys from various toy drives the past month, culminating in a three day shop that wrapped up on Dec. 14. Parents can select toys, stocking stuffers and even winter clothes for their kids all at no cost.
"There's a great respect and dignity involved when you can select your own toys for your own children," said Maj. Greg Voeller from the Salvation Army. "Who knows better than a parent what their children need?"
"I'm pretty sure the children will be excited knowing there's something under the tree for them this year," Watkins said.
Anyone with someone they want to nominate for the Spirit of Central Illinois should send an email to Deron Molen (email@example.com) or click here.