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Last minute gifts for needy?

MANATEE — The hallway outside the Salvation Army family shelter was lined with toys Tuesday.

Cheerleader dolls. Classic car toys. Red Baron bears. You name it.

“People have been generous about getting things for the kids,” said Daryl Parslow, the family shelter’s assistant manager.

Which seemed to be the situation at other social service agencies two days before Christmas.

“We were worried,” said Charmian Miller, the finance director at Manatee Children’s Services. “Fortunately, there were enough people who came forward.”

Yet there are some last-minute gift ideas for folks looking to make Christmas a little brightier for the less fortunate.

For example, the Salvation Army said they could use donations of shampoo, make-up and body lotion for moms staying in its family shelter.

And Hope Family Services said they can always use food baskets and gift cards.

For more information, call the Salvation Army at (941) 748-5110 or Hope Family Services at (941) 747-8499.