East Stroudsburg, Monroe County – Jessica Albino doesn’t have a job right now. She’s raising six kids. Albino said it’s tough to make ends meet, especially around Christmas. So she was thrilled she could find gifts for her children at the East Stroudsburg Salvation Army. She said, "It really means a lot to me. It helps me out in a hard time right now."
The Salvation Army set up its gym like a store with gifts from organizations like Toys for Tots and Toys for Joy. Salvation Army Volunteer Coordinator Jill Brink said, “[I’m] very blessed to live in such a community that is so giving."
Parents browsed the selection and picked presents their kids would like. Albino smiled, "I just want to thank all the people that has made the donations and the corporations and even personal donations."
Most people donate toys for young kids, not teenagers. So the Salvation Army had to use cash donations to buy a table of gifts for teens. “This does help out them,” said Albino.
More than 300 families like Jessica’s got help Wednesday. More will come in on Thursday.
Brink said the number of people who need help increased since last year. Some say rising health care costs hurt their budgets. Brink said she is glad the community helps make Christmas happy for so many people. I think it makes them feel good and makes them feel part like all one big happy family,” said Brink.
If you live in Monroe County and need toys for your children, you can go to the East Stroudsburg Salvation Army on Friday. Volunteers are taking applications from ten until noon.