(WKBN) – A newer business to the Warren area has stepped up to help a local church provide gifts under the tree for families in need.
“We are so overwhelmed and just grateful to the community,” said Stacey Altiere, youth director at St. Paul Lutheran Church.
Inside St. Paul Lutheran Church, tables are filled with toys, boxes are stuffed with coats and socks, and there’s a tree of hats and gloves.
“To see all of these toys and how the community really came together is just awe-inspiring to take care of one another,” Altiere said.
For three years now, the church has collected toys for families in need. It has even teamed up with Warren’s first responders to collect the gifts. But this year, donations were down.
“I’m assuming it’s from inflation, maybe gas prices, things like that. People are a little more hesitant to donate this year or aren’t able,” Altiere said.
But thanks to a $4,000 donation from GreenBoard IT, an electronics recycling company that has been in the city less than a year, the church was able to not only meet but exceed its original goal.
“We all deserve a little bit of Christmas joy and doing that for the families is just something small that we can do to help give back,” said Wiley Runnestrand, with GreenBoard IT.
“They stepped up to the plate like people in Warren do and chipped in and you see this great array of toys, gifts, coats for all of our young people and our families,” said Warren Mayor Doug Franklin.
The toys will be given to five families who contacted the church for help, along with Someplace Safe, the Christy House, the Greater Warren-Youngstown Urban League and families who’ve transitioned out of shelters.
“This is the true spirit of Christmas. This is how a community bands together and really, we help our neighbors. We help one another and this is really what it’s all about,” Altiere said.