SALISBURY — Kesha Hoskins has been unemployed for some time, but her children will not go without Christmas presents.
Four of her five children were eligible to receive presents through the Salvation Army of Rowan County's Angel Tree program. Salvation Army staff and volunteers distributed toys and food Tuesday to families in need at the Rowan County fairgrounds.
Families sign up for the program in October, and the Angel Trees are placed at various area locations. The community donates presents that are on the children's wish lists.
“It feels like a blessing because I'm unemployed right now,” Hoskins said.
Hoskins is also a volunteer with the organization. She's been unemployed for two years. She at one time was employed by General Electric.
“I'd like to say to people who donated items — thank you. “I'm glad God put that on their hearts to give.”
Hoskins' children range in age from 6 to 13 years old.
Sabrina Proffitt has two children, ages 5 and 1, who received presents.
“It's a blessing from God,” Proffitt said.
She was thankful to the people who donated. Her husband was employed with Magna but was laid off.
Lora Miller and her husband together have eight children. Six of those eight were eligible for Christmas presents through the Angel Tree program.
“It helps a lot. Any help is a big help,” she said.
This year the organization was able to provide presents for 625 children, said Lt. Chasy Morse of the Salvation Army.
Morse said each child was able to receive at least six toys. The organization also had extra toys if a donor was unable to fulfill the whole wish list. St. John's Lutheran Church adopted 55 families or 125 children and Sheetz convenience store adopted 16 children, she said.
There were others who volunteered to assemble the toys into large plastic bags, including employees with GM Financial in Charlotte, which had 15 volunteers. Salvation Army board member Ray Paradowski also volunteered to distribute toys.
“It's always gratifying to be able to help someone in need,” Paradowski said.
Dink Safriet and his wife, Tamra, both volunteered, loading presents into waiting cars. Dink has been a Salvation Army board member since the mid-1980s. Chick-fil-A provided lunch for the Salvation Army volunteers and staff.