BRADENTON, Fla. — Last week, we told you how the Manatee County Salvation Army still needed help getting toys and clothes for hundreds of kids, and thanks to you, the donations came pouring.
On Friday, December 18, Manatee County families in need picked up the Angel Tree gifts during a COVID-style distribution.
Cars drove up with their number and volunteers loaded the unwrapped gifts inside.
Many families receiving help for the first time say they were out of work during the pandemic and wouldn’t be able to afford Christmas otherwise.
Kristen Gamero is a health care worker with two small children, who was not working temporarily this year because of COVID concerns and is still trying to get caught up on bills.
"It’s going to mean the most on Christmas when they get to see gifts under the tree, something that I really didn’t think was going to happen this year. But it's able to happen thanks to the loving family who was able to help us during this hard time. It’s gonna be a great Christmas," said Gamero.
With help from the community, the Manatee County Salvation Army Angel Tree Program was able to help more than 1,700 kids have gifts under the tree this Christmas.