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Saturday's "Fill the Truck" toy drive to support the Salvation Army

Walmart and The Salvation Army are partnering this Christmas season to help provide new toys and coats to local children on Christmas as part of the 122nd Annual Red Kettle Campaign. The "Fill the Truck" toy drive will be hosted at the Cloquet Wa...

Walmart and The Salvation Army are partnering this Christmas season to help provide new toys and coats to local children on Christmas as part of the 122nd Annual Red Kettle Campaign. The "Fill the Truck" toy drive will be hosted at the Cloquet Walmart, along with more than 2,500 other Walmart stores across the country, on Saturday, Dec, 8.

In addition, Walmart and Sam's Club stores are hosting The Salvation Army's iconic red kettles and bell ringers this holiday season up until Monday, Dec. 24, to collect much-needed funds to support the Army's social service at Christmas and year-round.

Last year in Carlton County, Walmart and Sam's Club stores helped The Salvation Army raise nearly $61,000 locally, and more than $46 million nationally--nearly one-third of the record $147.6 million raised. All donations made to the red kettles will remain in Carlton County, and help The Salvation Army provide food, clothing, shelter, financial assistance and other services to 7,500people a year.

The "Fill the Truck" event will begin at 9 a.m. and run until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, and is open to the general public who would like to donate new toys and coats to children who take part in The Salvation Army programs year-round. Upon arrival, shoppers will receive a list of suggested gifts to help fill the truck and collection bins at the store. Once the donation receptacle is full, The Salvation Army will bring the donations to the local office and distribute the gifts to pre-registered local children in need. The collection is expected to provide gifts to more than 900 children.

"This holiday season, we're proud to work with The Salvation Army and help provide basic need items like food and clothes to our neighbors in need," said Beth Iallonardo Walmart store manager. "With strong support from our generous shoppers, we know we can bring smiles to more children this Christmas." Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the associates at the Classy Cloquet Walmart Supercenter!

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This year, the Walmart Foundation also made a $1 million donation to The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign. The donation will be split among the four Salvation Army territories and support feeding programs, including meal programs for youths. Last year, The Salvation Army helped serve 7,000 meals to local children and adults in need.

Notably, 81 percent of Salvation Army programs saw an increase in need from families with children due to the recession in 2011, according to "Growing up in a Downturn," a Salvation Army report from earlier this year. The report also found that 56 percent of Salvation Army youth programs were operating at or beyond capacity, which includes feeding, education, athletic, artistic and religious programs. As a result of the recession's lingering impact, The Salvation Army expects the need to continue with this Christmas season.

"The Salvation Army is excited to partner with Walmart. Each year, Walmart is there to help us meet demands and provide a special Christmas to families and individuals who may not otherwise have a Christmas to celebrate," said Captain Ruth Gibbons

For more information on The Salvation Army, please visit salvationarmynorth.org/community/cloquet

Related Topics: CARLTON COUNTY
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