West Nashville church sets up Last Minute Toy Store - WKRN News 2

West Nashville church sets up Last Minute Toy Store

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A west Nashville church will make Christmas a little brighter for hundreds of Mid-State families in need.

The Last Minute Toy Store at 61st Avenue United Methodist Church opened early Thursday morning.

Hundreds of families started streaming into the church when its doors opened at 3 a.m.

Organizers said many had been waiting in line since early Wednesday evening.

For 14 years, the church has set up the Last Minute Toy Store for parents who are struggling financially.

The Last Minute Toy Store runs through Sunday.

Organizers will pass out a limited number of free tickets at 6:30 a.m. each morning.

Each family will then be able to pick out three toys or gifts and one large gift per child.

"So many families just throughout the year have trouble making it from just week to week and month to month just in regular times and so when Christmas comes they're left figuring out how can I buy this for my kids and the money is just not there," said Rev. Paul Slentz.

Shopper Tarianna Pearce came to the make shift toy store Thursday morning.

She said having the store available means a lot to her.

"I have five children, so, it helps out a whole lot... Just seeing the smile on their place, knowing I could provide a little more than usual," Pearce said.

Even the store that gives away toys is still need this holiday.

Last year, the church helped almost 4,000 kids and organizers expect to help even more this year with the tough economic times.

Rev. Slentz said, "I've had several calls from people who say, ‘I just got laid off from my job and I'm going to need help this year for the first time.'"

Volunteers worked through the night Wednesday to get the items organized and they hope people will continue to bring in gifts, because they have no idea what the need will be this year.

The store is especially in need of items for older kids.

"People tend to think of little children at Christmas time.  We all know that even as teenagers we hope to have something under the tree," said Rev. Slentz.

Organizers suggest donating items such as board games, lotion or jewelry for teenagers.

Donations to the Last Minute Toy Store can be dropped off at the 61st Avenue United Methodist Church, located at the corner of 61st Avenue and New York Avenue.

Call 615 292-7184 for more information.

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