Holidays Made Brighter for 1,700 Northland Families

By KBJR News 1

December 19, 2012 Updated Dec 19, 2012 at 12:19 PM CDT

Christmas doesn't come easy for every family. For some, the holidays are a stressful time where gift giving creates a huge burden.

That's where the Salvation Army comes in. As they ease the stress a bit for working class and low income families..

With every box packed and bag filled, hearts are made full again.

"This really makes me feel good."

With 15 years already under his belt, Denney Cokeley won't stop there.

"If I live 20 more years, I'm going to be here 20 more years," says Cokeley.

For fellow volunteer Don Mendoza, the feeling is mutual.

"It's a real joy, makes you feel good when you walk away."

But this isn't for them.

"You see the end result of the happiness and joy of people being able to have something for the kids, and that's what it is all about," says Mendoza.

1,700 families will get presents under their tree this year, and all the fixings for a Christmas dinner, thanks to donations from across the northland.

"Without the northland community, people donating the toys and the food, the children would not have Christmas," says Nancy Leslie of the Salvation Army.

And when all the parents have left with their toys, it will all start over again.

"Christmas is not a three day event for us, it is 12 months," says Leslie.

And guaranteed, you'll see the same smiling volunteers this time next year.

"If you were to ask me, what am I doing next year, we'll meet here again if you're here," says Mendoza.

The Salvation Army is looking for a few more bell ringers to round out the holiday season.

If you are able to volunteer, please contact the Salvation Army.