Dec 17, 2009 12:06 AM by Ariel Wesler
The Salvation Army was giving away a little joy today to families in need this holiday season.
The organization distributed more than 500 boxes of food and bags of toys. They were handed out until 3pm Wednesday at the Santa Maria Fair Park. Bikes and dolls were two of the more popular donated items.
More than 100 volunteers packed and sorted boxes last Saturday. Wednesday, all that hard work paid off in the eyes of moms and dads who now have food and gifts for their children.
You can see the excitement on the faces of the families. For them, these boxes hold more than just food and toys.
"They are very specific because the children are the ones that request what they would like to have for Christmas," said Capt. Bob Louangamath with the Salvation Army.
20-year old Amanda Ruiz of Santa Maria is a former gang member, who gave up her old lifestyle when she found out she was pregnant. This will be the first Christmas for her six-month old daughter, Delilah.
"My daughter needed some clothes, some little toys and stuff and I really don't have the money because I'm a single parent. . .I just think about taking care of her. She's my joy," Ruiz said.
the Salvation Army says with the economy, this year more people need a little help, some who never thought they would.
"We've been receiving family who regularly supports us, but now their on the other end . . . and yet the generosity of the community followed through this year," Louangamath said.
Generosity from folks like yourselves who donated to KSBY's Your Family Toy Drive.
"Before I wouldn't really care about the holidays that much, and now I bought a christmas tree just for her and I actually have gifts under there for her and it's like whoa, it's my kid, you know?" Ruiz said.
A little community support giving these families a big reason to celebrate.
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