Greensboro businesses gather to help needy families

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Businesses along Landmark Drive are joining together this holiday season, collecting toys, food and volunteering throughout the community to help families in need.

Employees from Carlton Scale, Genesis Aviation, Carolina Custom Surface, Camco, Envirotrol, Graphic Mailers, and Zee Medical loaded trucks filled with toys Thursday and donated them to the Salvation Army’s Christmas Warehouse.

“To be able to bring all these toys and put smiles on the faces of these boys and girls, that's what it's all about," said Lona Shockley, an account manager for Carlton Scale.

It’s a cause Shockley knows all too well.

"Growing up we went through a difficult time,” she said. “I remember my mother going to Salvation Army and picking out presents for me for Christmas. That was the only Christmas that I had."

So in that same spirit of giving, the companies are holding the toy drive along with donating food to the Second Harvest Food Bank and volunteering at local fund-raising concerts.

"We grew up in houses where we were given back so it's just natural thing for us to do," said Sandra Griffith, a customer service representative for Genesis Aviation.

The Salvation Army says the joint effort will help ease the charity’s burden of getting gifts for the nearly 3,800 children registered for toys.

"The economy is still not good,” said Carole Whisnant, volunteer coordinator for the Salvation Army in Greensboro. “Folks have lost their jobs, and we're just seeing so much more of that it seems."

It’s a picture people like Lona hope to change.

"To be able to give back now and repay that, means the world," Shockley said.

The donated toys will be picked up by registered families on December 20th and 21st.

The businesses also plan on hosting a blood drive in January 2014.