Community shows gratitude for charity during the holidays

Imperial Valley

Community shows gratitude for charity during the holidays

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EL CENTRO, CALIF. (13 On Your Side ) - The clock is ticking for The Salvation Army workers and volunteers in the Imperial Valley - they want to make sure every needy family has a merry Christmas.

Sonia Barragan says the charity is making a real difference in her family's life. Even though she and her family are going through tough times, she shows her gratitude by giving back.

"I cant stop smiling I'm so happy," says Barragan. This is the time of the year when she really shows her appreciation to The Salvation Army.

She just picked up a Christmas present for her 9-year-old daughter - a kit to make jewelry.

"It feels really good because of the fact that we had an incident in our family and we're by ourselves - just me and my daughter - so it's really going to put a smile on her face."

This year, more than 600 families registered through The Salvation Army to receive a free Christmas gift for their children and some groceries.

Major Jerry Esqueda says the charity wants to bring joy and hope for families this season.

"A lot of these parent haven't had a job in so long and this helping hand gives them that boost."

For Barragan, who is disabled and cannot work, she says - that boost goes a long way.

"Unfortunately, a lot of people are unemployed and this is just a gift to everybody in el Centro."

So when she can, she's sure to pay it forward.

"When we have stuff at the house that are not - that are not to be used - we do donate to them too."

And it's a lesson she passes on to her daughter. "My daughter walked out of the car at Walmart and gave them all her change because she said, 'they always helped us out huh mom?' And I said, 'thank you angel, that's why you're name is angel.'"

The Salvation Army is still taking donations for their annual Christmas dinner for the needy. If you would like to help, see the information below:

Website: http://www1.usw.salvationarmy.org/usw/www_usw_sdm.nsf/vw-sublinks/27C7F703943645EF8825772E0074EB69?openDocument

The Salvation Army El Centro Corps Community Center is located at 375 N.Fifth Street, El Centro, CA 92243. Or you can call (760) 352-4528