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Salvation Army donations below average

The Salvation Army of St. Joseph County said they are 25-percent behind in donations compared to last year at this time. On Saturday, the Adopt a Family program concluded at the Kroc Center and hundreds of families received Christmas assistance.

Organizers said 875 families signed up, but only 854 of them were able to get food, clothes, and presents through the program.

5-year-old Jordan Vance spent her 5th birthday volunteering for the event.

Jordan Vance said, “It was so fun! One person came and gave me a great big giant hug.”  

For Daisy Navarrete, times have been tough, so she's thankful her family qualified for the program.

Navarrete said, “This is a great thing for me and my family, especially since we've gone through a lot with extended family, having to travel back and forth and coming up with money for all that, my dad had a quadruple bypass surgery so it's been a struggle.”

Navarette has 5 children who will now have presents under the tree.

Navarrete said, "It's a blessing for us as much as it is a blessing for them. Because they get to feel how it is to give instead of just receiving.”

The Social Services Director is hoping more people will donate so no family is left behind.

Libby Unruh said, “Those are what we call forgotten angels, that's why we need miscellaneous donations because even if the guardian angels were unable to provide for that child, we as the Salvation Army are still able to get that child some gift for Christmas.”

Unruh said there are still dozens of children who need to be adopted from the angel tree. Sunday is the last day at University Park Mall to pick up an angel.

The Salvation Army will allow the 25 families who were not included in the Adopt a Family Program to visit their Toy Store next week.

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