The Last Minute Toy Store is fully stocked again this year to help families in need at Christmastime.
The store, located at 61st United Methodist Church in Nashville, is set up to help families not assisted by other toy and gift giveaways.
For the last 18 years, the Last Minute Toy Store has been made possible through donations to Toys 4 Tots and other toy drives and fundraisers. In December 2011, the store distributed 20,000 toys and gifts to 1,400 families, serving 4,674 children in the Davidson County area.
This year, organizer and church pastor Paul Slentz hopes to serve 5,000 children.
“[These are] lower income families who don't have a lot of extra income anytime of year, and they have a hard time making ends meet,” he said.
As in years past, shoppers began lining up early Tuesday morning, waiting for tickets that will not be distributed until Wednesday morning.
Karen Carney was among the first in line.
“I did this a couple years ago for my niece. This year, I need it,” she said.
Like so many others in line, Carney is a single parent. In recent months her limited income has been stretched thinner. Her 12-year-old son is sick and needs a liver transplant.
“He didn't want me to come. [He said] 'Mom, I'm okay. I don't need [anything],'” she said.
At the Last Minute Toy Store, tickets are given out at 6:30 a.m. every day for four days.
Ticket holders are then given a time to return to shop between the hours of 12:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Carney would like to get a football or a few books for her son.
“I'm thankful that there is people out here that will help people like me,” she said.
Participants must have identification and social security cards for each parent/guardian and each child. Proof of income and proof of residence in Davidson County is also required.
For more information call 615-463-0191.
The Last Minute Toy Store will accept donations throughout the days of operation. All gifts are welcome, but the store is in particular need of teen gift items and soccer balls.
Volunteers are also needed.
The Last Minute Toy Store continues through Saturday.
For more information, call 615-292-7184 or visit LastMinuteToyStore.com.