WINK viewers help kids have a better Christmas

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

Just two weeks ago, the Salvation Army’s warehouse where toys usually sit to hand out to kids was nearly empty. Now, thanks to WINK News viewers just like you, the warehouse is full of gifts.

There are quite a few things we’d rather forget about this year. Gabriella Pirolo and Chelsea Huntsinger are both mothers. They say it’s been a rough year for their kids. “My son is five, he started kindergarten, it’s been a rough year.”

Moms and dads know that kids do not forget about Christmas, specifically the presents.

Lorinda Montalvo’s son is very into superheroes this year. “Superhero toys… because… Because the superheroes are cool,” he said.

Montalvo has found a job but everything isn’t back to normal just yet. “I’ve been without a job for like maybe like six months I think. Now I finally got a job, hallelujah. Now I’m starting to work, but the thing is it’s still hard,” she said laughing.

And after the year it’s been for families like Montalvo’s, kids deserve presents on Christmas morning.

“I think it’s important for the kids after the year that they have had to be able to have that on Christmas morning, to still be able to have something to believe in,” Pirolo and Huntsinger said.

Now they will, thanks to our viewers. Two weeks, ago, the Salvation Army put out an urgent plea for help. There were still 3,200 angels in need and only 500 angel wishes had been fulfilled.

Fast forward to Tuesday and every single angel’s wish will come true.

Therese Tanksley volunteers with the Salvation Army. “I’m sure they’re very happy, and that’s all I need. I don’t always have to see something to believe it,” said Tanksley.

She is one of the many who saw our story and decided to get involved. “It doesn’t have to be something really big it can be something small, done in a big way,” Tanksley said.

Wrapping and delivering a toy will make a child’s Christmas.

“Oh my God, I’m so excited, I’m so excited for him to open all of his presents. I just can’t wait to see his face,” Montalvo said. “For the community to pull together to be able to make sure the kids have something to open up on Christmas day, the kids deserve it.”

About 50 cars per hour will come through the Salvation Army parking lot each day until Friday picking up the gifts you gave.

For anyone who still wants to help out, the Salvation Army says they can always use bell ringers.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.