BOISE -- The Salvation Army worked hard for the past few months, campaigning for donations, and collecting food and toys. This week, all of that hard work paid off, as the Salvation Army filled stockings and tables across the Treasure Valley.
"This is the big celebration," said Capt. John Stennett, of the Boise Salvation Army.
With their pantires and storerooms full of food, toys, and books from Operation Wishbook -- this week, the Salvation Army gave Christmas and more to 4,000 families in the Treasure Valley.
"They're very grateful. They're excited," said Susanne Hubbell, a 15-year volunteer at the Salvation Army. "A lot of people are astonished at what they're actually getting. It helps. Every little bit helps. Some people, this is all they're going to get."
Qualifying families showed up to the Caldwell, Nampa, or Boise locations, and had the opportunity to pick out presents, specifically for their kids. They also carted away enough food for a nice Christmas dinner, and some staples to create a few more meals.
One of the people picking out toys for her kids was Peggy Martinez. She says she's trying to put her life back together, and her kids wouldn't have gifts without the Salvation Army.
"I would not have any Christmas for them. It would be a sad day," said Martinez. "I'm a recovering addict, and I've been clean almost four years. I'm just so grateful, coming here, that other people are helping me with this. I get to pick it out, like I'm doing good for my child."
Peggy's family's Christmas, and the thousands of others, are all because of you, the generous people of this community.
"Overwhelming support by the community, as they just brought gifts after gifts and toys for the kids," said Capt. Aurelio Ambriz, of the Caldwell Salvation Army. "Also, our food pantry is stocked up now. We just want to thank the community for doing that, helping us out."
"People are just amazed at the generosity of their neighbors," said Stennett. "They come in, sometimes they're crying, they're just overwhelmed."
"It's blessed that I have the opportunity to come here," said Martinez. "Because, it's rough out there, it's really rough. It's just a blessing to have Salvation Army for this."
The Salvation Army wanted to thank their volunteers. Captain Stennett says the Boise location required an extra 240 volunteers for this week, and they had enough people signed up, by the end of November.
The Salvation Army was part of our 7Cares Day, raising thousands of dollars and tons of food then, and even more in the months leading up to this week.