Christmas is coming early this year for more than six hundred Monroe County families. The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program gives underprivileged families toys and food during the holiday season.
Red and green bags filled with toys and clothes lined the floors, as the Monroe County Salvation Army distributed its Angel Tree Christmas gifts to families in need. More than twenty volunteers, including area boy scouts, participated in handing out the Christmas presents to needy families.
Bloomington Salvation Army Corps Officer Catherine Fitzgerald says each child will receive between six and ten gifts.
“Four years ago was the first year I helped run this program and we had about nineteen bikes. That’s just a measure of the size of gifts we give out. This year we have one hundred twenty-six.Ten percent of the people we are helping are getting a new bike for Christmas. So this year has just been phenomenal,” she says.
Volunteers have been donating toys for the last month. Tuesday was the first day families could pick them up.
Sydney Pringley is helping distribute the bags of toys. She says it’s a way to help those who are less fortunate.
“Christmas is a really big holiday for everybody, especially to little kids. And if parents can’t really afford them, I think is a great chance to give kids what they want that their parents can’t buy,” Pringley says.
The Salvation Army brought Christmas to more than twelve hundred children and food to several hundred more families.