WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Christmas came early for thousands of Wichita-area families Thursday. 

The Salvation Army held its annual toy distribution for those participating in its Angel Tree program. Nearly 3,000 families are receiving gifts through the non-profit's Christmas Assistance programs. 

“Not too many people just help out the kindness of their hearts, you know?” Latia Logan, who came to pick up presents, said. “And they actually do that here and that made me feel good to know that people outside really actually care.”

This is Logan’s first year officially participating in the Angel Tree. She said her seven-year-old son wants a game system.

“Especially being a single parent this time of year, things are tight,” Logan said. 

Wichita community members and businesses bought or donated all the gifts for families in need. This year, the Salvation Army needed presents for over 1,500 more kids than last year. 

“Families that were always able to just stretch that budget enough, no longer can, and it has been very stressful for a lot of folks,” Nancy Powers, Associate Area Commander for the Salvation Army South Central Area Command, said. 

 Powers said the increase is mostly in working families impacted by inflation. She said the Wichita community “stepped up” to help the extra children. 

“To know that the people in Wichita have that much love for their neighbor is just beyond what Christmas is about,” she said.  

Families could start applying for Christmas Assistance in November. Distribution continues into Friday for people who were not able to come by on Thursday. 

“We see the generosity that comes in, and we get to see the people who shopped and you know, they're concerned that they got the exact right gift, and it is just a beautiful expression of love,” Powers said.