If you need help this Christmas, now is the time to sign up

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SOUTHEAST SIDE – Two night before Thanksgiving and already, a line hundreds long spilled into a community center on the southeast side for help.

“Last year, total, we (helped) right under 4,000 children,” said Kim Boyd with Toys for Tots.

The line was for one of four registrations the YMCA already held to sign up for Toys for Tots. If it seems early, think again.

Toni Turner and her daughter Jamesse are sharing their story to help you.

“Don’t be scared to ask, because I had to humble myself a lot to ask for help,” Turner said.

Last year, Turner reached out to Fox 59 very close the Christmas. It was the first time she needed help to put gifts under the tree and she had missed all the important deadlines.

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, Jamesse got her presents just in time. She’s still showing them off a year later.

“I love my parents. I love the people who did this for me,” Jamesse said.

That’s why Turner wants you to think now, whether you need help or plan to provide help this Christmas.

Agencies that partner with the United Christmas Service only have until this Wednesday to submit families for assistance.

Similarly, you have until Dec. 7 to apply with the Salvation Army.

Turner hopes you’ll think about reaching out if you do need help and reminds you not to wait to do so.

“There’s a lot of help. There (are) people that (are) willing to help, you just have to be able to open up your arms to receive it,” Turner said.

For more information about Toys for Tots’ assistance, click here.

You can also attend another open registration for Toys for Tots at the Avondale Meadows YMCA on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 12:00-2:00 p.m.

If you’re not sure where to turn, call 211 to be connected to agencies that can provide help.