ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) Shantie Moore said she considers Christmas time to be pretty fair at her house, but for the past three years, she said Christmas has been more blessed by the Salvation Army.
"I do really appreciate it, from the bottom of my heart,” said Moore, an Alexandria resident who picked up several donations for her and her family.
"Today, we're giving these bags to the mothers," said Leann Nelson, a major with the Salvation Army. "They have one day to put their Christmas together. We asked them to keep it a surprise,”
The Salvation Army places what they call "angel tags" on Christmas trees throughout the city, which represent each child. The tags have the names of the children, their wishes, and their clothing sizes. That gives an opportunity for people in the community to adopt the children on the tags they choose in order to help provide things for their Christmas.
The donations included food, toys, clothes, and a Christmas they won't forget.
Not all of the tags are adopted by people in the community. The Salvation Army uses the money from the kettles people in the community drop money into around Christmas time to sponsor the children who don’t get their names chosen by people in the community.
The Salvation Army picks up the rest of what’s left, because each of those names on the angel tags are special.
"It's a win-win situation. Every child is taken care of. Santa Claus came for everybody,” said Nelson.
When the people who were adopted showed up to get the items donated to them, the volunteers where overwhelmed with how grateful everyone was.
Mary Batiste, an Alexandria resident said, "It's heartwarming to us, we're just happy to have someone that cares about the community.”
"They're happy to get it. They're out there smiling and here early and in good spirits. Everybody seems to be in a good mood," said Nelson
After all, bringing joy and smiles to homes (especially to the ones who may not always have that) is what Christmas is all about.