The Season of Hope toy drive ended last week, and families are beginning to receive their gifts from the community.
The Salvation Army is one of KSBY's partners for Season of Hope and Pastor Guillermo Marquez, the local Envoy and Officer, told us, “We have an estimation that about 65% — it is a total amount that came from Season of Hope and we're very thankful for that.”
The Salvation Army began distributing toys ahead of Christmas on Tuesday and Erika Gutierrez picked up some gifts for her daughter.
“It honestly is a relief and I feel so grateful for it because I struggle. I'm struggling right now. I'm actually trying to find a new job because my daughter's been sick. She got RSV and I just, I didn't feel right,” she said.
Jeshua Basilio is a local middle schooler whose family participates in the toy drive. He also plays in the music program at the Salvation Army while people waited in line and he helped pass out toys.
“I'm also glad for my mom because most of the time she's working hard and like rarely kind of get to see her. It was just crazy that having this community helping me is by my side, helping me give these gifts to my brothers and everybody in my family,” said Basilio.
In San Luis Obispo County, the Salvation Army is still calculating how many families they're serving this year.
“We have about 45 families in the waiting list and 75 throughout the county. And tomorrow, after we do our distribution, all the toys that are left over will go to those families,” said Rosio Marquez, the Envoy in Charge.
At the Santa Maria Salvation Army facility, they are serving about 520 families and have a wait list of about 200.
“I think the best way for them to do is to get in contact with us. That's a way we can plan. And if we have whatever we have, we're going to try to give as much as possible to the people that are in need,” said Marquez. The phone number to reach the Salvation Army in San Luis Obispo is (805) 544-2401.