With Christmas just over three weeks away, southwestern Saskatchewan residents starting today will have a chance to help local children less fortunate this holiday season.

The third annual Toys Days hosted at Swift Current's Canadian Tire in partnership with the Swift Current Salvation Army and Golden West Broadcasting Ltd. begins this morning at 9 a.m. and goes until Sunday night at 8 p.m.

"It always blows me away, the generosity of this community," Swift Current Salvation Army's Lieutenant Bill Mailman said. "I just can't get over how much the community is willing to give. It means so much to see just such a selfless community help everybody who needs it."

As of yesterday, the Salvation Army had over 375 kids included in their Christmas Hamper program this year and to accommodate for the increase, the event has expanded from two days to three.

"Every year the needs in the community have been growing so we're hoping by adding a third day we will be in a better position to ensure we can meet that need," Tyler Lemieux, the general manager at Swift Current's Canadian Tire, said. "It also gives those who want to help out a better opportunity to make it down by adding that extra day."

The event in 2020 raised 450 toys for the Salvation Army to distribute locally and this year, they're hoping to beat that mark.

"Generally the ones that are the hardest to get are for older kids, so things like headphones, BlueTooth speakers, maybe some LED light strips," Mailman said. "Also we're looking hopefully for stocking stuffers... As always Lego is really popular for boys and girls. There's also Barbie's and Hot Wheels that we can use to add to these kids' Christmas gifts."

Toys can be purchased at the store, online, over the phone, or brought in if purchased elsewhere to support the toy mountain. Another option is to make a cash donation earmarked towards Toys Days allowing Salvation Army to buy for whichever age group is needed the most.

"Watching the community come together to fill those bins is a really special feeling," Lemieux said. "Our committment to this event since day one has been to ensure that every child in our community has a gift to open."