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Salvation Army in Santa Maria hands out food and toys to families in need

Posted at 6:09 PM, Dec 22, 2020

Local families in need received a little help from the Salvation Army in Santa Maria on Tuesday.

Approximately 400 families were given food and toys. The families said they were grateful because if it wasn't for the event, their children wouldn't have any presents to open on Christmas Day.

"I am very happy because I wasn't able to buy my kids anything this year and now with this, they are able to have something for Christmas,” Santa Maria resident Cristina Sanchez said.

Sanchez's family is one of many struggling this year but the Salvation Army was able to relieve some of that holiday stress.

"It's a lot of help that they are giving us because we are able to save the little I have to buy essentials that my kids and family need,” Maria Flores said.

Flores, who has a family of seven, said she can't wait to see her children's reactions on Christmas.

"To see their little faces when they open their presents and see what they got is the best thing to see, to be able to see their happiness,” Flores said.

Organizers say they still need help. Although hundreds of families were given toys and food there are about another 100 more on the waiting list.

"We had such a blessed day, so many people helped us and donated toys and food but we really need more food and toys,” said Maj. Viki Villanea, Salvation Army.

Those who received the food and toys on Tuesday said they are thankful to those who donated.

"I hope the people who donated these toys get all the blessings back they just gave us. It's because of them that our children will get to open a gift for Christmas this year so thank you,” Teresa Chavez said.

Organizers said they will continue to help families on a week-to-week basis especially right now during the pandemic.

Some of the food and toys handed out Tuesday were donated to KSBY's Season of Hope campaign.