Salvation Army, RIFA help bring Christmas to families in need

JACKSON, Tenn. — It’s just one week away from Christmas and the holidays just got a little brighter for some families in West Tennessee.

“They gave me a turkey and I didn’t plan on cooking Christmas dinner, but now that I have a turkey, I might. My son got some toys, so he will be very grateful for that,” said Jody Seaman, who received food and toys.

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The giveaway started at 9 a.m. Friday, but cars were already lined up way before. In just an hour, about 100 cars showed up to pick up their orders.

Lt. Mark Cancia, with the Salvation Army, says he expects a total of 500 cars by the end of the day. The Salvation Army partnered with the Regional Inter-Faith Association.

This is called the “Christmas Assistance Program,” where families in need can stop by and receive Christmas presents, a food basket with turkey and stuffing and canned food items.

“Everything that is needed in a holiday meal,” said Cancia. “While they are unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning, they’ll also be able to be filling their bellies with food.”

Cancia says this program was started for families who couldn’t afford to buy their children Christmas presents.

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Members of the Salvation Army say their goal is to make Christmas a little brighter for those families who might not have Christmas presents under the tree. Trunks were filled with Christmas presents and some of the kids got to take home new bicycles.

Mabel Sowell, with the Salvation Army, says it makes her happy to know that some of the children will have presents to open on Christmas Day.

“When they go back to school everybody is going to be like ‘Oh I got this for Christmas,'” Sowell said. “Then they are going to sit there and be like I didn’t get anything, so I hate it when people feel left out.”

Members with the organization say this program provides toys and other items to children of needy families through the support of donors.

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