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Toy crisis at Sally Ann

The Salvation Army in Calgary says it has had to cancel volunteer shifts and close a warehouse because the agency hasn't received enough Christmas toys for workers to sort.

There are 7,000 children under the age of 14 registered for the agency's toy program in the city.

Officials say 18,000 toys have been received so far, but about 40,000 are needed.

Spokeswoman Karen Livick says that in the past the agency has sometimes seen fewer toys donated in some age groups than in others.

But this year donations are down generally.

Livick says the organization is aware that buying a toy may not be in everyone’s budget.

“I think it’s a direct result of the economic crisis that we’re seeing and ... starting to feel again in Calgary," Livick said. "We’ve started to feel it for a couple of years, but this year ... people are a little unsure about their job situation and what’s going to happen in the new year.

"They’re finding themselves ... not being able to buy that extra toy to donate.”

There is uncertainty in the oilpatch right now because the price for Alberta oil is low and Premier Rachel Notley is bringing in production cuts in the new year.

People can drop off new, unwrapped toys until Dec. 15 at various locations around the city. Livick points out that the Salvation Army also accepts monetary donations.



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