Once the doors opened at the Neighbour to Neighbour Centre Christmas store, it wasn’t long before the hall was humming with people.

“It’s a very busy place,” said Laura Ryan, manager of family services at the Athens Street centre, which runs a free Christmas store at the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church next door each December where pre-registered clients can pick up toys for their children.

Ryan said about 150 people came through on Dec. 12, the store’s first day, and some 600 were expected to pick up toys for 1,200 children under age 10 by the time the shopping wraps up on Dec. 15.

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