Thousand of kids will enjoy a Merry Christmas this year thanks to the Salvation Army Angel Tree, NBC12 partnership.
Families started picking up their gifts Tuesday, filling their carts with gifts after months of work by the Salvation to provide for families in need this holiday season.
The rows and rows of toys are a child's dream. Doors opened early, and people poured through, ready to pick up presents for their children.
Yvettrise Hoskie is searching for much needed items for her son who was born premature.
"Because he's such a preemie, I want him to be healthy and get through this," said Hoskie. "It's been hard for the both of us."
She's had to take off work for months to care for him, but the outreach here is a holiday blessing.
"I was fortunate because my mom had told me about it but I didn't know what to expect," Hoskie noted. "She just told me to go and they would help me find what I need for him."
Hoskie and others are pre-registered and assigned a time to show up here and pick out their gifts, bikes, coats and more.
Volunteers have been going strong all day. They'll help anywhere between 5,000 and 9,000 children receive Christmas presents. Area commander Captain David Worthy says a fusion of programs work with the Salvation Army to make this all happen.
"It's wonderful," Capt. Worthy added. "You know I've served in many communities as a Salvation Army officer. There's something about this community. People dig very deep into their pockets and their hearts to really come to the need of their need neighbors. It makes me feel very good."
He hopes the holiday cheer will put a smile on people's faces well beyond the season. People will be able to pick up their gifts here for the next week-and-a-half.
The Salvation Army's core programs also help more than 50,000 needy people in Central Virginia each year.
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