PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Magical Christmas Toy Drive is underway. It’s a holiday tradition to give you the opportunity to donate toys to help children in need in South Alabama and Northwest Florida. With the help of the Salvation Army in Pensacola, we were able to meet one of those families. The Baldwin family lives in West Pensacola. Their Christmas tree is a tree salvaged from a dumpster in their neighborhood. Although its lights don’t work, and it’s stripped bare of decorations, Cherelle Baldwin says, “This tree is a very big sign of hope.”
Cherelle and her husband have 7 children. A few years ago, she says a series of events led to the loss of their home and kids. But not the loss of her faith and fighting spirit.
“With God all things are possible,” says Cherelle. She adds, “I’m trying to teach my kids, don’t ever give up.”
Her 13-year-old daughter nods, adding, “She’s a very strong woman because I’ve seen her lose everything.”
This Christmas, for the first time in 3 years, the family will be all together again. But times are still tough and Cherelle thought being reunited would be the kids’ only Christmas present. Enter the Salvation Army and the WKRG Magical Christmas Toy Drive. Cherelle was overwhelmed to learn that people will donate toys to help children like hers have a happy Christmas.
In tears, Cherelle said, “They try to help us show the kids that Christmas is still real.”
Turning tears into smiles is what the toy drive for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program is all about. That… and giving hope for better days to come.
“I pray for the day when I get to where I can do a community give back,” says Cherelle.
When you donate a toy, it’s not just going into a donation box, it’s going to a real child, with a face that will light up on Christmas morning because you took the time to help a family in crisis. And for that Cherelle says, “I want to thank you so much.”
There are so many children in Northwest Florida who are in need this Christmas. You can help light up their faces by dropping off a new, unwrapped toy at one of our sponsor locations. In Northwest Florida, those locations are Zaxby’s, Greer’s Market, Rich’s Car Wash, Lamar Advertising, Wal Mart, and of course, the Salvation Army who is going to work with Santa to make certain that every toy donated in Northwest Florida gets to just the right child in the Pensacola area.