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'It means a lot': Volunteers box toys for thousands of families at the Salvation Army

Posted at 5:40 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 18:40:42-05

MILWAUKEE — Serving others seems to be in Anyiah Chamber's blood.

"It's amazing, and being able to give back to other families during this time, it means a lot to me," said Chambers.

The full-time college student from Milwaukee is home for the holidays from Kentucky State University, that state's oldest HBCU. But she's staying busy, even without class.

Every year, the Salvation Army runs a holiday toy store of donated items. But this year, like the year before it, families are not allowed to shop because of the pandemic. So volunteers, like Chambers, are boxing up the toys and sharing the gifts.

"I come from a family where I didn't really have to worry about what I was going to get for Christmas," said Chambers. "But, being able to just impact families in the smallest ways., it means a lot to me."

The political science major and journalism minor is also in the Army Reserve. Once she gets her degree from Kentucky State, she plans to pursue a law degree to someday work as a JAG officer.

At the Salvation Army building on 60th, Chambers and other volunteer, as well as Salvation Army staff, boxed toys for 2,2000 families with thousands of children.

"I’m glad they [families in need] can trust the Salvation Army, to say, I need help. Where do I go?" said Salvation Army Major Steven Stafford. "We provide the toys, but we also provide the hope and joy for those families trying to make that dollar stretch a little bit more.”

Shynetta Brown has been coming to the toy store for years for gifts for her four children.

"It means a lot because some people can't afford it right now. Some people can, but just every little bit helps," said Brown.

Chamber said she often volunteers at soup kitchens, but this was her first toy drive and she hopes to help again next year.

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