FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — If you’ve ever donated to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, or cut a check to help them during this holiday season, you might be curious exactly where your generous donation goes.
Friday, the Salvation Army of Broward County handed out thousands of toys to families in need to make sure their holidays are bright.
1500 families walked out of the Salvation Army of Broward County’s toy shop Friday loaded, and in some cases overloaded with big plastic bags full of gifts for children.
“I’m just kind of giddy right now,” smiled Michelle Davis. Her giddiness comes from knowing her kids scored in the Christmas gift department this year. She’s been out of work, and this is her first year turning to the Salvation Army Angel Tree program for help.
“It was a struggle this year so I really appreciate that Salvation Army came through for me and my family…it’ll put a smile on my kids’ face.”
The Toy Shop was filled with a huge stockpile of every kind of toy, bicycles and tricycles. Everything kids could want this year, thanks to generous donations.
“We’ve collected the toys from the community, a lot of corporations in the community and the angel trees at local malls,” explained Sally Gress, Development Director for Salvation Army of Broward County.
The families were screened and pre-selected, and in most cases didn’t know what magical gifts were inside the bags.
“Whatever they give me, I’m fortunate, I’m grateful,” insisted Davis.
Jill Campos is also thrilled to have been selected for the program.
“I’m very blessed to have been chosen to have this opportunity to come here for my children this Christmas year.”
Campos is also grateful for a very personal gift for her family to remember this special time of year. A free professional family portrait.
“I got this beautiful free portrait that I’m going to put into a frame compliments of the Salvation Army. This is absolutely wonderful, this is just a blessing. God is good,” she smiled.
The Angel tree event started back in the 80s and Gress says it keeps growing.
“The families are really excited to get these toys- there are really some phenomenal toys this year.”
After all, Santa Claus, and parents can all use a little help making kids light up Christmas morning.