Statesville, N.C. - The holidays can be heartbreaking for families going through a tough time. Some are forced to choose between something as simple as keeping the lights on and buying a gift for the kids.
Thanks to The Salvation Army, Christmas came two days early for nearly two hundred parents and grandparents needing a little help from Santa’s helpers.
"It's a struggle trying to do it all with just three and I’m a single mom," said Crystal Tomlin, picking up gifts on Wednesday.
"I have five kids. They all have wanted a bike. They're going to be so excited," said mother of five Candra Howell.
"My husband passed away last year and my father in law passed away this year so Christmas is going to be hard as it is, so getting presents is awesome," said Karen White, single mother of two.
Thanks to the generous donations from the community, The Salvation Army is giving more than one thousand children in Wilkes and Iredell counties a gift under the tree this Christmas.
"It's sad to think that some families have to decide between paying a bill and eating. When they have to make choices like that, how can they buy gifts for Christmas," said Lt. Ann Hawk.
Making these families extra grateful this holiday.
"It's an excitement thing. The tears are of joy," said Howell.
"I've volunteered and rang bells when I didn't need help. Now that I need it, it's really nice to get the help back," said White.
"I just want to thank the Salvation Army for all they've done for my family. I just want to wish them a Merry Christmas," said Tomlin.
The Salvation Army says they received a surplus of gifts from the community that they will store away for next Christmas.
The organization does ask for next year for a little more help with newborn and pre-teen gifts which are always low.