Empty Toy Bins a Sad Truth

Economy punching everyone's gut

By Christie Smith
|  Monday, Dec 14, 2009  |  Updated 8:30 AM PDT
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Holiday Shopping Guide: Gifts for Everyone on Your List

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Forget your coins or bills? The Salvation Army will test credit card donations this holiday season.

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"I haven't see it this bad in 13 years."

That's what Trish Poochigian, who works the Salvation Army in Oakland, is saying. Every holiday they collect Christmas toys for kids. This year the math just doesn't add up. They need about 2,000 toys and they have about 300.

Clearly, the economy has hurt people across the board. In Oakland, 500 families say they need help. Those families often have more than one child.

Poochigian calls the toy shortage extreme. Normally, they would have three rooms full of toys. Right now, they have just half of one room full.

They need all sorts of toys for a newborn up to pre-teen age. They are also accepting canned food and gift cards to distribute for the holidays.

Who wants to see a child with nothing to unwrap come Dec. 25? If you would like to help, you can drop off donations at The Salvation Army of Oakland Corps and Community Center To donate online, visit:

Salvation Army

2794 Garden Street

Oakland, CA 94601 www.oaklandsalarmy.org

Or, P.O. Box 510, Oakland, CA 94604

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