As many of us rush to finish last minute shopping, the Salvation Army is helping thousands of people put gifts under their trees as well.
Their annual food and toys give-away is so large it takes two full days to give away all the donated items. Organizers say more than 15,000 people will benefit from this give away.
Jessica Scott and her husband Robert have three girls and a boy. They are one of nearly 3,100 families registered to receive help from the Salvation Army this Christmas. "It's a huge help, without them, my kids wouldn't really have a Christmas," says Jessica.
Kizzie Blan is also here shopping for her children. She has an 11 month old son and a 10 year old daughter. Just like Jessica and Robert, Kizzie says the extra help around Christmas time is a blessing, "I moved. I got my own place. So this helped me out a lot."
She says thanks to the drive, she will be able to celebrate the holidays with her kids and pay bills. Something she would have had to choose between if not for the Salvation Army.
With help from a volunteer, each shopper goes around to tables filled with toys.
All of these items have been donated by people from our community.
Major Randy Hellsrom, Winnebaco County Salvation Army Coordinator, says the items were all donated by people from the community at various drives. "The 12 hours of salvation last weekend at the Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall, and a lot of the toys were collected on that day. more than 10,000 of them. We've had toys come from the giving tree at CherryVale mall and various people have just donated toys."
"And for them to open their arms out and help people as much as they can means a lot," says Jessica.
Everyone who signed up for the giveaway also went home with a turkey and additional food to make a traditional Christmas meal.
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