LIMA — Major Debbie Stacy sees the look of gratitude as she hands out gifts made possible through the Salvation Army’s Adopt a Stocking program.
“Seeing the joy and excitement on the adults’ faces, I can only imagine the excitement for the kids on Christmas morning,” Stacy said.
There’s been a hefty dose of holiday spirit this season through the program, which replaced the former Empty Stocking Fund. It raised $8,280 through Monday, said Carolee Austin, bookkeeper for the Salvation Army. That’s shy of the goal of $20,000, although donations can be made through the end of the year.
Stacy saw the real power of the program through the physical gifts donated to people who shared their struggles via daily stories in The Lima News since Thanksgiving Day.
Several donors brought in clothing to fit children and adults mentioned in stories.
Multiple offers to donate rocking chairs came in for the family of Michelle, not her real name, who has adult son with cerebral palsy. Michelle mentioned in a Dec. 19 article that a rocking chair could help her son sooth himself.
“We’ve been able to give people bags so big that I’ve received hugs from mothers who were overjoyed and excited,” Stacy said. “Sharing those moments makes it worth it. It’s why we do what we do. People are so grateful that someone is thinking of them and their children.”
Another donor brought in an eight-piece dishware set, a necessity mentioned as a wish for Rachel, who was profiled Dec. 12 after dealing with a house fire.
“When the lady came in to get the dishes, she was so excited and so surprised,” Stacy said. “She said, ‘Wow, what a gift.’ For someone to care enough about her after reading an article to think about them and not even know them? That’s the generosity of this community. That’s what Christmas is all about.”
Reach David Trinko at 567-242-0467 or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.