“Toy Room” Ensures Brooke County Children Have Merry Christmas


 If you’ve ever taken a child’s name off an angel tree and purchased presents for that child, you might have wondered how the rest of the process worked.

There’s a group of middle-men between the angel purchaser and the child opening those presents on Christmas morning who do a lot of organizing. At the Brooke County Salvation Army, they call it the Toy Room.

Thanks to the Toy Room, 165 children will have a happy Christmas Morning, and the volunteers wouldn’t have it any other way. They take in the angel tree gifts, put them in the right child’s bag, and add other clothes and toys that the Salvation Army has purchased. 

“We try to get a coat, we try to get a pair of pajamas, we try to get shoes, try to get a couple of outfits. We try to get a bike if they have a bike listed on their sheet,” said Manuel Markos, a retired assistant principal. 

Retired journalist Matz Malone said they even try to assemble a lot of the toys, “Because a lot of times it’s a single parent family and Dad isn’t around to put the bicycle together.” 

One little girl who asked for a Baby Hannah doll will also receive a Mickey Mouse set, a Princess set, two outfits and a hat. 

The organization is done completely by volunteers. The elves are all board members of the Brooke County Salvation Army. “The average age on our board is pretty close to 70 years old so it’s an active group and it’s a dedicated group,” Malone said. 

They even go out and pick up donations. On Wednesday, they collected items from the Brooke County Library and Eagle Manufacturing. The gifts are meticulously matched to each child, according to age, gender and their particular wish list. They truly have their list and check it twice. 

Each Christmas, the Toy Room is filled with of course toys, volunteers and activity. “It’s very rewarding, we love to do it,” Markos said. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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