IMMOKALEE, Fla. - Hundreds of families in Immokalee are getting some help spreading Christmas cheer this holiday season. People lined up at the Salvation Army early Wednesday morning to sign up for Christmas and Thanksgiving assistance.
The crowd grew steadily throughout the morning, but near the front was Francico Galindo. The father of seven got here at 5:00 a.m., just to make sure he was ready to register for holiday assistance.
"It doesn't matter the price, it's the joy of giving them something instead of nothing," he said.
That joy is something he says is tough for many in this community to provide on their own. Galindo works in agriculture, a job that doesn't always bring in a steady paycheck. wWth an income of less that 14 thousand a year, he says he's thankful for all Salvation Army does.
"When it comes to the toys, the Salvation Army does give the helping hand that, to us they're our guardian angels," he added.
Leaders say, last year, this program helped more than 25,000 people. They're prepared for even more registrations since Toys for Tots is not operating this year. While it's a lot of work, Major Dan Proctor say he's just excited to be able to spread the joy of the holiday season into this community's homes.
"There are a lot of folks who are having a difficult time now... we want to help people no matter what they're problem is in their lives," he said.
"Without them, our kids would not have a Christmas this year," Galindo said.
The Salvation Army in Naples, serving Collier County, does not have a location for their Christmas Food and Toy Distribution Center. They are asking the community for assistance by providing space to accommodate the distribution center. They need at least 15,000 square feet of publicly accessible, air conditioned and secure space with adequate parking to provide food, clothing, toys and personal care items to our community for the holidays.
The Space is needed by October 15th, 2013 through the first week of January, 2014. If anyone has space available, please call Maria Ramos at 239-775-9447, or on her cell at 239-273-2001. You can also reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org