Presents given out by Salvation Army

Friday morning was an exciting time for needy kids and families across Bradford and Sullivan counties.

The Salvation Army was at the American Legion in Towanda giving presents out from its Angel Tree program.

The distribution of presents is the result of months of work, dating back to October, that the Salvation Army Towanda Unit has put towards this Christmas season.

Until last week, the Angel Tree program was in need of serious support, having only three families out of 45 that would be receiving presents for Christmas. After an article was published in The Daily Review, Salvation Army Caseworker Jan Russell says the community reached out and within one day all families in the program had presents for Christmas.

By Friday morning Russell was pleased to announce that, "145 children from 82 families will be receiving gifts today."

Russell explained that donors were coming to her with bags of toys just to give away, without participating in any of the Salvation Army programs like the Angel Tree. She said the presents will be put to good use.

"The community at large has been absolutely tremendous. I would just like to say thank you from the Towanda Unit (of the Salvation Army) to anyone who has helped us make this Christmas special for children," Russell said.

Russell noted that without the help of various organizations, none of this would be possible.

The organizations who she personally wanted to thank for donating gifts were the Bradford County Manor, Toys for Tots, Global Tungsten & Powders Corp., Towanda High School, Kmart, Towanda Pennsylvania State Police, Towanda Memorial Hospital, Tri-County Rural Electric, Monroeton United Methodist Church, and the American Legion. Subway also donated food for all volunteers on Friday as they helped organizing and distributing presents.

Russell also said private individuals played a very large role in the success of the event through gift, food, and cash donations.

Bradford County Commissioners Doug McLinko and Daryl Miller were two of many volunteers present for the event. McLinko personally delivered toys from Toys for Tots in Pittston that were designated to be given to families in Bradford county.

"The people of Bradford County have been terrific. We would like to thank those people for giving many a much brighter Christmas," McLinko said. Miller added, "The spirit of giving in this county is tremendous."

All volunteers in attendance wanted to wish a merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone in Bradford county. For volunteers, the event was an opportunity to see all of their hard work manifest itself through a smile from a child.