Melissa wasn’t going to be able to provide Jacob with Christmas last year.
But thanks to caring friends like you, they had the best Christmas ever!
“Can you please make Christmas happy for my sick son?”
Melissa’s plea was desperate. A single mom, she had already sacrificed so much to take care of Jacob, her 2-year-old son who was ill with multiple tumors. Melissa had to turn down a scholarship offer to law school, and then, when Jacob’s condition worsened, had to quit her job to care for him full-time.
She had never had to ask anyone for help before.
Now she was at the end of her rope. When she made that desperate call to The Salvation Army, just a few weeks before Christmas, we jumped into action. We put Melissa on the list to receive help for Christmas, but also took care of some immediate food needs. And we helped arrange rides to the doctor’s office for Jacob’s appointments.
When Christmas distribution time arrived, Melissa got to choose items for Jacob. With tears in her eyes, she said: “I can’t believe you are doing this for us. Thank you so much! This will be a great Christmas because of you.”
A few weeks later, Melissa stopped by The Salvation Army office to introduce the staff to Jacob, the little boy who had touched their hearts. Melissa reported that Jacob had a great Christmas, but the best present of all was the news that he was on his way to recovery!
We would not have had Christmas some years if not for The Salvation Army.
Erika has a lot of miserable memories from her childhood. Her dad died when she was only 6. “I felt completely alone,” she says. By the time she was 13, Erika and her six siblings had lived in five states, numerous cities, countless apartments . . . and even in a tent for a while.
“Things seemed to go from bad to worse,” she remembers. “But my mom always relied on
The Salvation Army to help out with bills and with clothing for me and my siblings.”
Erika’s earliest memory of The Salvation Army was when they helped her family with gifts and food over the holidays. “We would not have had Christmas some years if not for the Army,” she says. “The sheer outpouring of love from the Army helped me and my siblings survive.”
These days, Erika is giving back. Since she was 16, she has bought Christmas presents for a girl and a boy through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, which provides gifts for children who live in poverty.
“It means so much to me because at one time I was one of those kids,” Erika says today. “I know how it feels to be hopeless. The Salvation Army brings so much hope and light to a dark world.”
How do you tell a young child there won’t be any Christmas
celebrations this year? That’s the very situation Sara was facing —
until she learned The Salvation Army could help her family.
One year ago, Sara and her family fell on hard times. Her husband had recently lost his job, they had a 10-year old daughter, and Sara was staying at home with a high-risk pregnancy. They were struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food in the fridge.
Celebrate Christmas? No way, it seemed.
“You can imagine how hard it is to sit your child down and tell her she wasn’t getting any gifts for Christmas,” Sara says.
“Tears to My Eyes”
But then she signed up for The Salvation Army’s Christmas Assistance program, and they received food and a bag of gifts for their daughter. “It was more than we could have ever imagined. Watching the excitement on her face brought tears to my eyes.”
Since then, their family has grown by one — a baby boy — and Sara’s husband found a well-paying job. They’ve moved out of their small trailer into a new three-bedroom home.
Now they are able to give their kids plenty of Christmas presents. But after discussing it as a family, they’re cutting back on their own gift-giving . . . so that they can give more presents to another family in need.
“We want to give a family a Christmas they wouldn’t be able to have without help,” says Sara. “We were very thankful for what The Salvation Army provided for our family last year, and we knew we wanted to give back.”
Please download The Salvation Army in Central Ohio Fall 2016 Newsletter.
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Please direct all media inquiries to:
The Salvation Army of Central Ohio
Public Relations Coordinator