23 December 2013

Taylor knows what it’s like to have nothing. Growing up, she and her mom got by on very little. But Christmas time was always special, because her mom brought her to The Salvation Army’s annual toy distribution. Taylor remembers how the parents would form long lines in their cars, and the excitement she felt in the back seat of her mom’s car. Taylor would watch through the window, eager to see the volunteers come out with food and toys.

Now Taylor is 19, and she and her mom still go to the toy distribution. But now, their goal is to give back. They’ve volunteered at the Christmas distribution every year for the past 10 years.

Taylor loves handing out the gifts. “I live for making people smile,” she said.

She knows that many of the families who come for toys are desperate for a little bit of cheer. Some parents even seem to be ashamed. Thanks to you, they always leave happy, carrying bags of Christmas presents and food.

Taylor’s favorite memory is of a little girl who looked anxious and overwhelmed. Taylor wanted to give the little girl an extra special gift. She knew there was a gigantic teddy bear among the piles of toys, so she raced around to find it. When Taylor offered it to her, the little girl’s eyes grew wide with wonder and joy. Then she threw her arms around her new bear!

“We touch so many people’s lives,” Taylor beams. But she feels a personal connection with the kids. She confesses, “I’m always looking for that one little girl in the back seat who reminds me of me.”

Thanks to donors like you for giving so many families a Merry Christmas!