“This is a Blessing”

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Ebony Culbreath with gifts for her daughters

PHILADELPHIA (December 21, 2018) – 5,000 families across Greater Philadelphia will celebrate Christmas this year with some help from The Salvation Army and its generous supporters. Toy drives throughout the month of December have netted mountains of gifts for local youth – everything from basketballs and skateboards to puzzles and dollhouses.

Community partnerships like CBS 3’s Joy of Sharing Toyfest campaign, together with contributions from our friends at the Philadelphia Flyers and Cricket Wireless to name a few, plus all of the individual donors make The Salvation Army’s Christmas assistance program possible.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ for blessing these precious children during this holiday season,” Chaplain Donna Hightower proclaimed about all of the donations to The Salvation Army this holiday season. Chaplain Donna oversees the social services department at The Salvation Army’s West Philadelphia Corps Community Center, which provided Christmas assistance to an estimated 600 families this year.

“In January I was in a bad car accident. I’ve been out of work for a whole year,” shared Madeline Davis, who was receiving gifts for her granddaughters. “Now I am disabled. I can’t do the work I was doing. This is a blessing.”

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Madeline Davis

On Thursday December 20 and Friday December 21, parents and guardians lined up at the West Philadelphia Corps Community Center at 55th and Market Streets to pick up the gifts they had pre-registered for in the fall.

“I do the best I can. I reach out for help. I’m not ashamed,” said Madeline, who leans on The Salvation Army from time to time. “They give you the word of God. They help out if you are in need,” she added.

Ebony Culbreath was delighted to see the gifts that were waiting for her little girls. As a working mom of three daughters, ages seven, five and three, Ebony said she tries not to beat herself up about not having the money to buy Christmas gifts.

“I walk in faith. I live day by day and do what I can do,” Ebony said. “This is so great. I really try to instill it in their character too, so they appreciate it.”

Chaplain Donna, along with teams of volunteers and staff greeted the families at the West Philadelphia Corps as they arrived to pick up their presents, which were all sorted and packed in big bags. Big smiles, handshakes and hugs were the only currency on this day.

“The gift of serving is what Christmas is all about,” said Chaplain Donna.

When it’s all said and done, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia will have distributed more than 20,000 toys and gifts to local children from struggling families.

 

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Flyers Community Day with The Salvation Army

IMG_6706The Philadelphia Flyers partnered with The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia for a day of community service on Sunday, December 2!

Members of the team, staff and season ticket holders spent the afternoon giving back at our Red Shield Residence and Temple Corps Community Center in North Philadelphia.

Continue reading “Flyers Community Day with The Salvation Army”

Wells Fargo Provides Holiday Cheer to 200+ Families Residing in Homeless Shelters

DareToDreamMore than 200 parents and children residing in Philadelphia area homeless shelters were treated to a special lunch and free tickets to Disney on Ice, thanks to a community partnership between Wells Fargo and The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia. Families who attended the December 23 event reside at The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Residence, Eliza Shirley House and Norristown Family Shelter, as well as the St. Barnabas Mission Emergency Shelter. After a buffet lunch at each shelter, the families boarded buses to the Wells Fargo Center for an afternoon viewing of Disney on Ice Dare to Dream. This is the third year in a row that Wells Fargo has provided a special Christmas celebration for families served by The Salvation Army and other local agencies.  Continue reading “Wells Fargo Provides Holiday Cheer to 200+ Families Residing in Homeless Shelters”

Flyers & Their Fans Make Christmas Brighter for Children in Need (photos & video)

The Philadelphia Flyers helped out The Salvation Army with Christmas gifts this week!

Continue reading “Flyers & Their Fans Make Christmas Brighter for Children in Need (photos & video)”

Just In Time For Christmas (with photos & video)

Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia Provides Gifts and Toys for 11,000 Children

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Theresa Seals displays a stocking for one of her grandsons

Theresa Seals had worried what Christmas would bring this year. The grandmother of two little boys gets by on a fixed income that doesn’t leave much room for gifts from Santa.   As she left The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia’s headquarters with bags full of toys, games and books, she was overcome with emotion.

“The stuff that you give out, and the donations that are sent in, is truly, truly a blessing.  I really, really thank you with all of my heart,” Theresa said with tears in her eyes.

Continue reading “Just In Time For Christmas (with photos & video)”

Adopt-A-Family

IMG_4630Long before you see the first light on a tree, smell roasting chestnuts, or hear a bell ringing by a red kettle, The Salvation Army has been hard at work preparing for the holiday season. The season of giving is year-round, and Salvation Army officers and employees start planning well in advance to help those most in need during what should be “the most wonderful time of the year.”

The Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program specializes in helping families who’ve experienced extreme hardship and devastating tragedies during the year such as death, serious illness, abuse, and home fires. Families in the most difficult situations are adopted by a sponsor who purchases Christmas gifts for each member of the family. Continue reading “Adopt-A-Family”

How Your Toy Donation Makes a Difference at Christmas (with video)

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Major Philip Ferreira, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia Director of Operations

More than 400 community toy drives, as well as individual donations, resulted in the collection of thousands of toys and gifts for children age 12 and under. 6,000 of those donations alone were a result of the CBS 3 Joy of Sharing campaign!

Throughout the month of December, dozens of Salvation Army staff and dedicated volunteers worked to sort and prepare them for families in need. Parents and guardians, pre-approved for Christmas assistance, were able to select gifts for the children in their family.

It is an emotional experience for so many, who may otherwise go without gifts and toys at Christmas if it was not for the assistance from The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia. Continue reading “How Your Toy Donation Makes a Difference at Christmas (with video)”