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Several Charities Brighten Holidays

The inventory at the Ingles toy store at Westgate shopping comes from the public. The Ingles Magical Christmas Toy Drive collected between 12 and 15 thousand donations over the weekend.

Families still in need can contact Eblen Charities for help.

"The community's been so generous," says Eblen executive director Bill Murdock. "We wanna make sure all these toys, come Christmas Eve, you're looking at an empty building."

Eblen's St. Nicholas Project is the biggest local Christmas relief effort, but it's certainly not the only one.

The Salvation Army's angel tree program gives generous donors a chance to adopt an angel child. There are still some who haven't been adopted. Colonel Ernest Miller says the campaign benefits some two thousand children in the Asheville area.
"Good children who deserve a good Christmas," Colonel Miller says. "I'm so pleased with the opportunity to do something. "

Meanwhile, "Santa Pal" is an Optimist Club project that's been a tradition for 77 years. Their headquarters are at the Innsbruck Mall. "Santa Pal" expects to bring smiles to three thousand boys and girls with holiday toys.

"I'm actually third generation," McKenzie Kanipe tells us. "That's just what optimists do. They wanna help the children here in town. " Santa Pal has raised about a third of its goal of $50,000 to pay for all those toys.

Another effort, Toys For Tots, is also filling the void for struggling families. Chili's restaurants are donating 10 percent of its December 9th net sales to the cause.


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