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Toys bring joy to Renton-area children

Renton firefighter Mike Hudson, left, and acting fire battalion chief Mike Proulx were among the Renton fire crews who volunteered this week at the toy giveaway.  - Dean A. Radford/Renton Reporter
Renton firefighter Mike Hudson, left, and acting fire battalion chief Mike Proulx were among the Renton fire crews who volunteered this week at the toy giveaway.
— image credit: Dean A. Radford/Renton Reporter

Hundreds of children in the Renton area will have a toy-  and joy-filled Christmas, thanks to the Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro and the Salvation Army.

Wednesday and Thursday, hundreds of parents representing about 670 families descended upon a large former retail space near Fred Meyer on Rainier Avenue to pick out donated toys for their children.

In all, because of the toys donated by Hasbro and by residents and businesses through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, about 2,200 children received presents.

Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of toy-maker Hasbro, donated about 8,000 toys and games to the Salvation Army’s Toy and Joy Shop.

The need this year is even greater than in past years, said Salvation Army Capt. Chris Aird, especially at the Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank.

The food bank has served 1,800 new families in the past five months, he said.

“That’s amazing to me,” he said. “It’s unbelievable.”

“When you see our Toy and Joy Shop and the fact that we are going to be handing out toys to more than 2,200 children that represents 670-plus families, you will see the need,” he said.

To make the distribution go smoothly, the Salvation Army enlisted the help of hundreds of volunteers, including Renton firefighters.

Families signed up for a date and time when they would come to pick out their gifts.

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