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Last Minute Toy Store

In 2006, UMTV first brought you the story of the Last Minute Toy Store, a place where mom's and dad's can "shop" free of charge. Because of generous community donations every year, the Last Minute Toy Store continues to serve thousands of children at Christmas time. We visited again in 2011.

(Locator: Nashville, Tenn.)

Parents stood in line … some of them all night … to get last-minute help for the holidays.

Sandra Schmitt: “Without this, the kids wouldn’t have anything. So it’s a real blessing to us.”

They came to the Sixty-First Avenue United Methodist Church in Nashville where a “last minute toy store” provides gifts for parents who can’t afford them.

Volunteer with shopper: “You wanna get this one?”

Toys, clothes, and supplies … more than a hundred thousand dollars’ worth … all brand new and donated by Toys for Tots and area churches.

The Rev. Paul Slentz/Pastor, Sixty-First Avenue United Methodist Church: “Every parent wants toys for their children at Christmastime. We all know that. And this is our way of helping them out.”

They are helping parents like Chandra Patton who, this Christmas, is shopping for nine children.

Chandra Patton: “Nine kids, it’s sometimes a struggle. So this helped us a lot. It really did.”

This time last year, Irene Carrera was shopping here for her son Jonathan. This year, they are volunteering.

Irene Carrera: “Giving back really does feel a whole lot better than receiving.”

In just four days, the church gave out 14,000 toys… 

Sandra Schmitt: “Oh here you go. Yeah. We’re done.”

…granting Christmas wishes for 3,000 children and their parents. 

Sandra Schmitt: “They’ll be wild when they open these.”


Each year, the Last Minute Toy Store serves approximately 5,000 children and youth from close to 1,600 families – distributing over 16,000 toys/gifts to go along with books, oranges, and candy canes given to each child

For more information about the Last Minute Toy Store, contact Sixty-First Avenue United Methodist Church at 615-292-7184.

For more videos like this, visit our Advent and Christmas page.

Posted: November 2011