Coloradans pitch in to help thousands of kids have a Merry Christmas

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DENVER -- Christmas may still be several days away, but it sure felt like it Monday at the Salvation Army.

Thousands of Denver area families were handed bags full of toys that were donated to the Salvation Army in recent weeks through the Angel Tree program and FOX 31’s Season of Sharing Toy Drive.

The Salvation Army estimates more than 100 families were served every hour on Monday.

In fact, more than 25,000 children in the Denver area will receive toys from the Salvation Army this year.

That’s up more than 30 percent from last year.

“It's an interesting thing because we're hearing the economy is doing really well, but the need seems to still be there,” said Lt. Kelsey Pearce with the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army was facing a big toy shortage this year. However, Coloradans came through late last week, donating more than 3,000 toys and over $1,000 in cash and gift cards during FOX 31’s annual Season of Sharing Toy Drive to benefit the Salvation Army.

"It’s my favorite day of the year. We see tears. We see smiles. We see kids literally jumping for joy when they receive these toys and that kind of keeps us going I think," said Lt. Pearce.

If you signed up to receive Christmas help from the Salvation Army but weren’t able to pick up your presents, no worries.

The Salvation Army will be giving away those toys on Christmas Eve at the Colorado Convention Center.

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