MASSENA - More than 100 children were helped through this years Salvation Army Christmas program in Massena.
We provided 107 children with gifts. That includes a main wish gift and a few small gifts, Lt. Cynthia Crowsen said.
The small gifts included items such as books, coloring books and stuffed animals, an outfit in their size and a winter coat if they had one, she said.
The gifts were provided for children 12 years and under, according to Lt. Crowsen.
The Salvation Army also helped families with meals during the holidays, she said.
For individuals up to families with children, we had 89 families that received meals, Lt. Crowsen said.
Meals arent just a Christmas dinner either, according to the commander. They also provide families with something for breakfast and lunch on Christmas Day.
We know all the grocery stores are closed on Christmas Day so employees can enjoy Christmas with their families, she said.
Families that received the dinner knew they would have a ham, turkey or chicken, depending on the size of the family.
One of the auction items during the recent radiothon and toy drive was chicken or turkey, and she said the person who won the chickens donated them back to The Salvation Army to use as a Christmas meal.
That helped immensely. That provided 10 chickens for families that we didnt have to purchase, she said.
It also provided less stress for the family.
They didnt have to worry about going and paying for it at the store, Lt. Crowsen said.
A school class also made quick breads to add to the baskets.
That became the desserts for several of the Christmas baskets, she said.
Individuals and families who received assistance were appreciative of The Salvation Armys efforts, she said.
We noticed that many families were very grateful and pleased with the things they received. They were excited that they didnt have to worry about what Christmas was going to be like. They knew they had toys to put under the tree and warm weather wear so they didnt have to wear sweat shirts to school, Lt. Crowsen said.
The effort went smoothly, she said, with families coming in with the paperwork and identification and volunteers working with them to help make a better Christmas.
The Salvation Armys efforts are boosted by their Red Kettle Drive, although they didnt meet their goal this year.
We know were down. We had approximately half the kettle stands and we reached approximately half the kettle goal. It we had the stands we would have met it. We know the community gave what they could and were very grateful for the donations. Over the last several days they reached deeper for the last bit of change. Every little bit helps, Lt. Crowsen said.
The campaign may be over for the year, but individuals can still make donations either through the mail or at The Salvation Armys office.
Well gladly accept any donations, she said.
Their offices are closed until Wednesday, but theyre still providing assistance even after Christmas thanks to donations.
Weve already helped some clients who need food to help them get through the week were closed, she said.