Salvation Army gives Christmas to more than 350 kids

JACKSON, Tenn. — As cars lined up Monday at the Salvation Army, the season of giving was truly under way. This year, the organization will help more than 350 kids across the Hub City experience Christmas and have a meal with their family to celebrate the season.

Volunteers call out numbers, and behind each of those numbers is an angel.

“We’re having a great time making a lot of kids and a lot of families happy this Christmas,” church volunteer Nell Austin said.

Bikes, basketballs and dolls are rolled and carried out to parents.

“It just makes us feel blessed to be able to give back to people less fortunate so they can have a Merry Christmas,” volunteer and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Cheryl Turner said.

It’s a day many say supports the old phrase, “It’s better to give than to receive.”

“This is a culmination of a lot of hard work, which means this is a happy day. This is my Christmas,” Salvation Army Major Jayne May said.

This year, every child who made a wish list is having those wishes granted.

“We had a 100 percent adoption rate this year, which does not happen in every community and not every year for sure. We’re thankful for their support,” Major May said.

“The love that supersedes everything that has happened over the year comes together and makes magic happen,” Salvation Army Advisory Board Chairwoman Tierra Thaxton said.

As volunteers made their way from the storehouse of toys to the parking lots full of families, it was a single hug that showed what the day was all about.

“One lady even said, ‘we are so grateful, so grateful for what you all are doing,’ and it’s been a joy to see the smile on these people’s faces,” Austin said.

Each child under the age of 14 receives at least three toys. Many also will receive clothes, and each family gets a box of food.

The Salvation Army partners with local churches and the United Way to make this event possible.

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