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Salvation Army's 'Adopt-A-Family' Brightens Holidays

Families who need help the most this holiday season picked up presents donated to them through the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program yesterday. A Salvation Army volunteer rolls a large, plastic cart carrying gifts toward a family waiting to load their car. Some of the presents are already wrapped in colorful Christmas paper. Susan Sayer’s trunk is filled with diapers and baby toys. Sayer lives in Columbus with her boyfriend and five month old son. She said Christmas would not have been possible this year without the help from others. “I was homeless for a little bit. I spent probably three weeks in the shelter. I got on my feet real quick and got a job and everything like that; got my apartment. And now everything is going the way it is supposed to be," Sayer said. Local individuals, churches, businesses and schools “adoptâ€? families, like Sayer's, and fulfill their wish lists. Five-hundred-eighty families received help this year. The Salvation Army’s Kelli Trinoskey said that’s a 16 percent increase compared to last year. “Maybe just really fell hard on their feet and they need a little leg up. We’ve already helped many of them secure housing or jobs or food through our food pantry. There was just no way could they provide Christmas this year," she said. Shawntae Townsel lives on the city’s West Side. Townsel said she and her three small children were at a shelter for part of the year. The program, she said, will help put a few gifts under the tree. “Baby dolls and coloring books – what my kids like – and cars for my sons. That’s it. It wasn’t really nothing major," Townsel said. Another mother is grateful to Salvation Army volunteers who maneuver a second bike into her car’s back seat. “It’s just a little stuck," a volunteer said. "Thank you so much! God bless," the woman said.