By Craig Day, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Several thousand families will have a merrier Christmas thanks to generous donations to the Salvation Army. The charity started handing out toys and food baskets on Thursday at its Christmas Center on 31st Street near Mingo.
It was a dark, dreary and damp day, but Christmas morning will be a lot brighter for thousands of Tulsa area children thanks to the kindness of others.
Carolyn Richard is thankful. Very thankful. The single mother of six girls was worried about Christmas morning.
"I'm doing it all by my own, you know. I work, but hey this helps a whole lot. A big help," said Tulsan Carolyn Richard.
Each one of the boxes represents a family being helped this Christmas. Each bag inside represents a child.
Without programs like the Angel Tree at Woodland Hills Mall and contributions to kettles, the Salvation Army says Christmas wouldn't be the same for them.
"A number of people tell us that without this, my baby wouldn't have any toys under the tree," said the Salvation Army's Brad Borror.
In addition to toys, families also get much needed food. It is enough to feed a family for a week.
From bicycles, to Barbies to baskets of groceries, the Salvation Army is helping nearly 5,000 families this year. That's an increase of about 10% from last Christmas.
The down economy is to blame. But, with a heart to help others, and nearly 1,000 volunteers, the Salvation Army is working to make a difference.
"I see all these needy people coming through and you get to see a smile on their face and everything," said volunteer Cole Popplewell.
"We got some Hannah Montana, some clothes and gloves and stuff for my little girls," said Tulsan Carolyn Richard.
She's grateful for the hard work, caring spirit and the generosity of so many people to make her girls' Christmas special.
"I thank God for this. It helped me out a lot. And my girls," said Tulsan Carolyn Richard.
You can still make donations of food or toys at the Salvation Army's Christmas Center on 31st just West of Mingo.
And, you can still adopt an angel, including from the tree at Woodland Hills Mall. There are still 3,000 angels that haven't been adopted, so they hope even with the down economy more people step up to help.