by Victor Lopez
PERMIAN BASIN--Times are tough all over. Sadly, there are many out there who are faced with the possiblilty of going without during the holidays. But thanks to one local organization, needy families in the Permian Basin will have turkeys this Thanksgiving and presents on Christmas.
The holidays are all about giving and the Salvation Army in Midland and Odessa are doing just that. But they can't do it alone. That's why they asking you to help them make a few wishes come true.
According to Midland Salvation Army Associate Pastor and Corps Officer, Captain Linda Keeney, "Most of the families are coming for food. They are also coming for Christmas toys for their children."
The Odessa Salvation Army received 341 applications this year. All families in need of help to get through the holidays. That's over 13 hundred people, 816 of them are children. Midland saw their numbers rise too.
"The statistics that we have, show that we have about 99 families more, than we helped last year. And we are still having requests, every single day," Keeney said.
Thanks to local businesses like Super Mercado in Midland, 200 tall city families will have food on their tables this Thanksgiving. Captain Keeney explained how, "They are given a gift certificate for a 10 - 12 pound turkey and they are also given another gift certificate for $30.00 worth of groceries, to purchase their Thanksgiving meal with."
Christmas is another story especially with so many kids on their lists. That's where you come in. Keeney says, all you have to do is adopt a Christmas angel, "We will get the information on the children, their size and what they would like for Chritmas. Then we put that information onto what we call an angel card."
Once they're bought, don't wrap the gifts. The Salvation Army wants the parents to do it themselves, for sentimental reasons, "It makes them feel like they have a part in their child's Christmas. Even if they couldn't afford to buy the gifts, they can wrap them, and make them special for their kids and put them under the tree."
In the end, Captian Keeney says it's all worth it, "To see the joy, to see the tears on the mother's face, it says everything."
If you would like help make this a bright Christmas for a child in the area, in Midland, you can find the Salvation Army angel trees at either WalMart location, Midland Park Mall, Johnny Carino's, Olive Garden and Ashley Furniture.
In Odessa you can swing by Music City Mall, West Texas State Bank, American State Bank and Southwest 66 Credit Union. Make sure you contact your corresponding salvation army office to find out when those gifts need to be turned in.
If you are unable to help out with the angel tree, you can always help with the NewsWest 9/Salvation Army toy drive. You can bring your new unwrapped toys to our studios or look for the red Salvation Army barrels in both Midland and Odessa.