Global Impact students make holidays brighter for Springfield children

Global Impact STEM Academy students spent some of Wednesday volunteering for the Springfield Salvation Army and their holiday efforts.

Students helped fill Angel Tree tags that were not fulfilled this year by shopping from the toys received during the Highway Hikers Toy Run.

Jamie Scanlon, social ministries director for the Springfield Salvation Army, said it’s crucial to have volunteers like the GISA students to help during the holiday season.

“This is how we get this done every year. We’re helping over 850 families this year, and close to 3,000 children, so we could not do it without their help,” she said.

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Kelsey Spencer, a sophomore at GISA, said volunteering and packing the presents for the kids makes her feel good.

“We’re just getting their Christmas presents ready for them to make them all happy and give them smiles,” she said. “It’s just to give back to the community and the kids, and just to help out the families in need.”

The 44th Highway Hikers Toy Run was held on in October to help provide Christmas to more than 2,000 local children.

The Springfield Salvation Army stored the bags of toys until last weekend when the Toy Shop officially opened at the Youth Building.

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If any Angel Tree tags went unclaimed, they are filled using the toys received from the toy run to ensure “no child is missed and that every child receives an exceptional Christmas.”

Community members can volunteer from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday through Dec. 15 to sort and distribute the toys. Groups of six or more can contact the Salvation Army at 937-322-3434 if they’d like to volunteer together.

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