The aisles full of toys are one by one being distributed to those who requested assistance back in October. The community not only had a hand in making all of these toys possible but also in making sure the angels receive their toys for Christmas morning.
Major Vicki Strong from The Salvation Army states, "We've had several groups come in. First Presbyterian Youth Group came in yesterday. One of the schools came in yesterday to help sign up. We have a school coming in this afternoon to help, and Avery Dennison is here this morning."
With this being their first Christmas in Meridian, the Strongs are amazed at the support the community provides, which she says is necessary because of so many who are in need.
"The community support here has been really great," says Strong. "People like to volunteer; they like to give., so it's been really great, and the need is great here too. We're really appreciative of everything everyone does."
Each of these bags full of gifts represents the love and support of the community for angels from the Salvation Army's Angel Tree. For the parents of these angels, however, all of this means more than just gifts under the tree.
"The ones who come in are really needy, and they are really appreciative of what they get, and they will sometimes break down in tears because they didn't expect what they got, you know, large bags of toys. They might have expected one or two toys but they get large bags of toys and they're really grateful," Strong tells us.
The toys will be distributed through noon Thursday with Kettle donations still being accepted through Christmas Eve. In all, 499 families will be helped by The Salvation Army.