Friday, December 18, 2009
Christmas Toys and Meals Distributed at Salvation Army
"We'll be giving out toys and food for 250 families today," Salvation Army Captain Rick Starkey said as he put the finishing touches on large plastic bags stuffed with toys for families who had submitted requests. "But we still have two pages of people on the waiting list."
The Salvation Army headquarters on Main Street was bustling this morning as families lined up for the holiday packages, and local volunteers, including two Democratic Common Council members, delivered last minute food baskets.
"The toys come from a number of sources, including through our Angel Tree program, and through individual contributions, and contributions from companies and local organizations like the Kiwanis," Starkey said.
The Angel Tree program allows contributors to select tags from Angel Trees placed at a variety of locations around town. These tags contain requests from local boys and girls for the gifts they'd like to find under their trees.
"This is wonderful," recipient Leah Pillerella said. "I'm out of work. My husband's out of work. My daughter wouldn't have a Christmas without this. My daughter told me, 'That's okay Mom, just give me a flashlight for Christmas,' but now we can put some real gifts under the tree."
Recipients will pick up toys, food baskets, and food gift cards throughout the day Friday. When the weekend's done, Starkey will begin calling families on the waiting list.
"We'll have some toys to distribute, but not food," Starkey said. "It's a tough year for a lot of people."