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Gifts For Teenagers In Need

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Children spend all year dreaming about what toys they want for Christmas. One group of students at Augustana College in Sioux Falls is working to make sure teenagers also get that perfect gift.

The Salvation Army program "Toy Town" works to give children in need something to look forward to on Christmas. With the cutoff ending at age 12, teenagers could feel left out.

"We're a little bit closer to having been teenagers, and so we know a little bit better what they like," said Augustana Senior, Molly Seberg.

College girls browsing through racks of clothes is a familiar sight. However, these five Augustana College students aren't shopping for themselves.

"For girls we do makeup, nail polish, clothing, stuff for their rooms, art supplies sometimes, and the boys are a little bit more difficult for us to pick out for," said Seberg.

The goal is to find the perfect Christmas gift for teenagers in need, which is part of the program called "Teen Town." The program is supported primarily by donations from the Sioux Falls community

"We have about 250 teens sponsored, and so that's between Sioux Falls companies, individuals, it's a bunch of different groups," said Seberg.

More donations means more shopping sprees. On this day, the group has about $1,000 to spend. $500 for girls, and $500 for boys.

While toys are commonly the go-to gift for kids, it could be a little more difficult to come up with a good gift idea for a teenager.

"I think they get left out a lot because it's so much mroe difficult to buy for them, and I think people think about the younger kids," said Seberg.

"I think Christmas is just such a special time of year. It really helps the parents and takes the stress off them, so they can have a good Christmas, and not have to worry about how are they going to get the money for a present for their teenagers," said Jolene Lucht, an Augustana Senior.

While $1,000 dollars may sound like a lot to spend in one trip, they plan to do even more shopping before Christmas.

"This year we're at about 250 gifts, which is awsome so far but our goal is around 600," said Seberg.

"This year I think we're pretty behind. It makes me a little nervous, but I hope the community will come forward and really help us this year," said Lucht.

The Augustana Teen Town group will distribute the gifts to families on Dec. 19th and 20th at United Methodist Church on Minnesota Ave. in Sioux Falls.

If you'd like to donate to Teen Town, you can drop off items at the Edith Mortenson building at Augustana College. You can also donate by visiting augie.edu/teentown.

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