Salvation Army Provides Early Christmas for Impoverished Families

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Christmas came early for a number of impoverished Lincoln families.

It's part of the Salvation Army's 'Adopt a Family' Christmas program.
The program matches impoverished families with individuals or group sponsors to provide presents and food for the holidays.

Lincoln corps officer Maj. Jamie Pennington said there are a variety of circumstances when it comes to the families they help.

"There could be domestic violence, single parents. It could be they had a death in the family in the past year, they've lost their job, medical bills, things like that," Pennington said.

When a match is made, wish lists are sent to the sponsor. In some cases, the sponsor requests a specific family.

"They may request a single parent, somebody that's lost their job in the past year, somebody that's got three kids between the ages of eight and 12 or something like that," Pennington said.

In some cases, the sponsor gives the family more than a simple Christmas present.

"They may pay their utility bill for a month or two to get them started for the new year," Pennington said.

The gifts are always given the week before Christmas, and when it comes time for the family to receive the presents, Pennington said the controlled chaos is worth the rush.

"You hear those stories and you see some of the people that are so thankful and grateful, the joy makes the long hours and hard work worth it."

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