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The Salvation Army helps with happiness during the holiday Featured

Salvation Army Volunteer, Donna Drusbacky, helps collect toys during the Toy Distribution at Harbor Lights Landing on Friday.

At the end of October, Ralph Ruta, owner of Harbor Light Landing on SR 53, donated space for the Salvation Army to use for their holiday donations and this year it was certainly put to good use. Wednesday, Dec. 18 was the first day of holiday distribution for the Salvation Army. Over 800 families from the area came to the distribution center and received donated items to make their holiday a happy one.

The Border Patrol Station donated a generator to heat the building since there was no heat. The Catawba Subway donated sandwiches and JT’s Café in Catawba donated donuts and coffee for the event. The first day of the distribution is the biggest, busiest day, but Maureen Saponari, director of the area Salvation Army branch, said that families will come to the center even up to Christmas Eve to receive donations.

“People never know when hardship is going to come and we try to cater to people in need throughout the whole holiday season,” said Saponari.

When families arrive at the Salvation Army distribution center, they are taking by a volunteer to an area where the children in the family get to pick two toys. The family then goes to another area in the center where they can pick stocking stuffers, hats, gloves and coats if needed.

Other items and services are donated and raffled off at the center. This year the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and the Oak Harbor Police Department donated bikes that were raffled off to families in need. Two horseback riding lessons were also donated and raffled off.

“It’s truly amazing to see it all come together,” said Saponari.

For more information on the Salvation Army call 419-732-ARMY or visit www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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