More than 2,500 Walmarts participate in toy drive to help the Salvation Army

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Walmarts around the area including stores in Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Maryville and Sevierville were among the 2500 Walmarts across the country holding toy drives for the Salvation Army Saturday.

From hot wheels to barbies, people were generous with their donations.

"I bought a little family card game, I bought a superhero toy, I bought a learning game for a preschooler to help learn numbers and ABCs and then there was a Nerf game to get kids up and moving," said Jane Dudak, who donated at the Turkey Creek Walmart.

"Share the holiday spirit - it's a tough economy right now, and I know a lot of people are in need," said John Aiken, who also donated toys there.

Each year the Salvation Army collects presents for children in need through its Angel Tree program - but it also relies on toy drives in case all of the angels aren't adopted or their presents aren't returned.

Volunteers from Ignition Church staffed the Turkey Creek drive.

"I feel like it's worth it to stand out here.I feel like it's worth it to give up a Saturday and to explain to people what the Salvation Army is doing here and to just thank them and let them know that their generosity makes a difference in this community," said Amanda Davis, with Ignition Church.

Many who donated say helping kids during the holidays is important.

"I just hate the thought of kids not having things at Christmas," said Dudak.

"I'm by myself, I don't have kids of my own, and you know, kids need stuff and they believe in Santa and Santa is among all of us and we all just need to help out," said Robin Holt, who donated several toys.

The Knoxville Salvation Army said it still needs volunteers to help with distribution day. If you're interested, you can call (865) 525-9401.

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