Salvation Army spreads Christmas cheer to Fayetteville families

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- This year, many of Santa's helpers wore Army uniforms. Everyone was on the nice list, and if the gift was too large to fit in your car, no worries. One of those friendly elves would deliver.

It's a tradition for the Salvation Army of Fayetteville as they wrapped day three of their annual Angel Tree donation program on Thursday.

This year, the organization was able to provide gifts for a thousand families and more than 2,500 people. Local families express their need and submit wish lists in October. Then, people adopt them through the program. Each gift bag contains individual bags of presents that are customized for different family members.

This year, the giveaway took place off Reilly Road, and instead of people lining up around the building to receive their gifts, a drive-through was in place. Volunteers, including many Fort Bragg soldiers, packed up their cars.

"It means that God is always blessing everybody and every day," said Rodney Sellers who, alongside his wife, picked up gifts for their young family.

As much as the gesture means to people like Sellers, it holds a special place in the volunteers' hearts as well.

Just ask Yadira Vega.

"I just remember being like, looking forward to getting these gifts cause my parents couldn't afford them," said Vega.

That was when Vega and her family were Angel Tree recipients during her childhood in California. Today, she and her soldier husband are volunteers.

"I love knowing these kids are getting to have at least something to open up during Christmas," she said.

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