22 December, 2016
"It started out with a newspaper ad that the Salvation Army was short of toys and it was getting close to Christmas about six years ago".
The campaign has so far reached just over 75 per cent of its goal.
The Empty Stocking Fund also partnered with the Salvation Army to make this possible. French said donations also were stronger this year to help meet that need.
"So it's a constant challenge all around", he said.
Groups, such as Rotary and Probus have given generously and have heeded the call for presents for girls aged 9 to 11 and boys 12 to 19-years-old, which was appreciated, Mushrow says.
This is the third year that they have worked in partnership with the Salvation Army.
She added, "We receive donations throughout the year of new children's clothing".
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"I'm helping people, and it makes me feel good", said Ellie Cox, a volunteer at the food distribution site. He said one of his students, eighth-grader Gabrielle Green, said during Thanksgiving that it must be hard to ask for help, and that statement left a mark on Cullen.
"Bagging up the gifts pretty much took all week", he said. Winters said, "We've seen across the U.P., a shortfall against our budget goal".
But the real gift is knowing they have made someone's holiday merry and bright.
The Salvation Army puts on the Angel Tree and Spruce Up A Life programs to help local families in need.
The toys come from local drives, individual donations and Share Your Holiday the Salvation Army and KSBW partnership fundraiser.
The Salvation Army will distribute toys and other gifts to about 80 families in the Waterville area Wednesday. Captain Brianne Bowers said about 800 kids will get a Christmas because of the service they provided.