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Thousands of toys given away to families in need across Central Indiana

servant's heart of indy santa shop
Posted at 4:56 PM, Dec 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-19 12:08:49-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The WRTV Toy Drive is serving thousands of Hoosier families across Indianapolis and beyond this holiday season.

For our 22nd year, we are supporting more than eight organizations in Central Indiana.

The holidays are a trying time for mother-of-two Claudia.

“Really, it’s very hard."

She has two daughters and little money to afford Christmas gifts this year, but thanks to Grace Care Center, she’s able to get a Barbie and even a bike for her children.

“There’s a warm feeling that you get when you get to help others and you just pay it forward. Some people do it through their walk-in faith, others do it for good nature. Here we do it for both reasons," Associate Pastor Chris Lutz said.

The church will serve an estimated 1100 families this weekend. That’s roughly 3500 kids and teens with 10,000 toy items.

“These items have been donated to us from our congregation, businesses in the community and a lot has come through our partnership with WRTV, which we’re so grateful for," Lutz said.

The WRTV Toy Drive has served thousands of Hoosier families in Central Indiana since 2001.

Grace Care Center is just one organization the initiative supports.

Another is Servant’s Heart of Indy in Beech Grove.

“The kids feel like they’re being let down or why doesn’t Santa come to our house? And we don’t want anyone to ever feel like that," Volunteer Coordinator Kim Devine said. "I think if you put it that way to anyone, they want to help, whether they have extra or not. We’ve had kids give up Christmas presents at their house to donate to those that don’t have any."

The Santa Shop serves over 200 families and an estimated 600 kids ages 13 and under.

“We get names and ages of our clients and we have shoppers buy for that gender and age level. And we set it all out. Nothing is wrapped now. So, the parents come in and shop for the registered kids, but they’re picking out the items they know their child will play with or will fit them," Devine said.

Toys, art supplies, underwear, socks, shoes and more are donted.

Volunteers and sisters Tatum and Rowan say giving to those in need is what the season is all about.

“It makes it so they can have a Christmas like any other kid. It’s a time for love and a happy holidays,” Tatum said.