Nashville's Last Minute Toy Store Opens for Business

Posted at 7:25 PM, Dec 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 20:31:45-05

For the 23rd year in a row, Nashville's Last Minute Toy Store helped parents in need provide gifts for their children to open on Christmas morning.

"As a parent we want our kids to have nice things, but sometimes we just need a little help," said Frances Paterson, who has volunteered with the Toy Store for nearly a decade. "I'm happy I get to be a small part of this."

Paterson was one of hundreds of volunteers who will spend four days emptying boxes, stocking tables, and sorting toys. Parents were then paired up with another volunteer who acts as a personal shopper, who helps them find the toys they're looking for. Another volunteer even loads the items into the shopper's car.

"Our goal is for them to do nothing but enjoy this blessing," said Dale Robble, who coordinates the store's volunteers.

The Last Minute Toy Store is specifically for families who have missed the deadlines to receive assistance from other organizations like the Salvation Army. The group double checks names to make sure those who show up for toys are still in need.

The operation relies on toys donations from individuals and organizations. This year two major donors were Toys for Tots and the Predators.

For Christa Harmon, the Toy Store is the only way she can give her four children the Christmas she knows they deserve. She stood in line for 14 hours to be the first in line to shop on Friday.

"My little girl really wants a Baby Alive," she said. "She's been asking for one for the last 6 or 7 months."

Harmon has visited the store for the last four years. This is the first year she's the first in line.

And it paid off.

Harmon found a Baby Alive and several other toys for each of her children - something she calls her own last minute Christmas miracle.

"My kids are going to have a good Christmas," she said.

The Toy Store is still in need of items for teenage girls.

If you are a parent in need of gifts for your children this Christmas, the Toy Store is able to serve at least 1,000 more families. Go to the 61st United Methodist Church in West Nashville to sign up for a shopping time.