Christmas gifts were picked up at Duluth Salvation Army’s annual Distribution Event

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Every year Salvation Army has helped families brighten the faces of many children by providing families with toys and items for their children to open up on Christmas day.

“Working here during the season and seeing like the need and then seeing it be fulfilled by the community, like immediately is such a great thing,” said Cyndi Lewis, the Duluth Salvation Army Director of Development.

Day one of distribution for Christmas toys and items started at 9 am and ended at 4 pm. The final day for distribution is Wednesday from 9 am-12 pm. Events like this and others take a lot of help from volunteers and community partners. There are 100 people between the two days who volunteer to help families pick out gifts.

1700 kids were signed up to receive gifts, and Lewis shared that families pick four items per child and got Christmas dinner. “It’s all worth it when you see that when the families, especially the adoptive families, they sign and they had specific lists. Then a family or an organization adopts them, and then they come in and pick up all their stuff all wrapped up. And a lot of times they say, this is like the best Christmas my kids are ever going to have, you know? It is stuff like that that makes it all worth it too.”

or families that participate in the program, like Shaminita Tims, it’s a huge help. “I find it a blessing, especially for people that are not financially equipped to provide like other families. This comes in handy, especially for low-income families. I fit that quota to a certain extent. So this year was a little rough for me. So Salvation Army definitely was a good place for me to sign up and get toys for my family.”

Knowing that there are people in the community willing and wanting to help others is a feeling like no other. “It’s a warm feeling, that’s what it is. It is good to know that there are still people who still care and still want to help and give and provide for others. Time is hard for everybody, especially over the years, but this makes me smile. There are people that still want to give back and continue to help other people,” Tims expressed.