Salvation Army program helps kids with incarcerated parents - – Rockford’s News Leader

Salvation Army program helps kids with incarcerated parents


Volunteers and The Salvation Army are working to help children with at least one parent who will be incarcerated in the Winnebago County Jail over Christmas have a brighter holiday.

Applications for the Salvation Army's Prison Toy Wrap Program numbered 390 this year and over 20 volunteers will wrap gifts for 915 children to unwrap on Christmas morning. Those gifts will be sent to the child from the parent and will have no indication of The Salvation Army's involvement.

"This is the time of year when it is hard for children to be away from a parent, and it is also hard for them to understand," Temple Corps Officer Major Kathy Hellstrom said. "So the arrival of a gift at their home, beautifully wrapped and with a note from mom or dad, is a great surprise to any child."

The program was founded in 1954 and is funded through the Red Kettle Bellringing Campaign, which is currently $3,000 behind compared to this time last year. To volunteer to ring bells, visit

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