Every year the Salvation Army provides toys to thousands of kids in the Houston area, however, this year the charity needs help too after Hurricane Harvey wiped out its toy supply.
Three weeks before Christmas, at the Salvation Army warehouse in northwest Houston, volunteer elves are busy stuffing giant bags with toys, clothes and other items for some 22,000 kids.
“When we look at this, we don’t see a room full of bags,” said Major Melody Davis, with the Salvation Army, “we see a room full of families.”
This year there are approximately 5,000 more kids than last year, according to Davis due to Harvey.
For so many, Harvey left behind nothing, which is the story for Priscilla Hernandez, a 15-year Salvation Army volunteer.
“My daughter almost drowned,” remembers Hernandez through tears. “they had to rescue us with a boat.”
Her family lost everything but their lives and although this mom of eight is grateful, this Christmas will be tough.
“It hurts really bad because you don’t know how you’re going to provide. And every kid says, ‘it’s OK,’ but it’s not OK.”
Hernandez is an example as to why the Salvation Army works hard to provide at least two toys to every child signed up through its Angel Tree program.
However, this charity that gives so much also had so much taken; Harvey flooded on of their warehouses, destroying the Christmas stockpile.
“It was overwhelming and it was very sad,” said Davis. “We estimate it’s about $200,000 worth of toys.”
Davis says they need donations now more than ever to make every child gets a visit from Santa.
To sign up to sponsor an Angel Tree recipient, visit here.