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Salvation Army provides kids with Christmas gifts

Published: Tue, December 18, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Mahoning Salvation Army continues Christmas giveaway for kids


Vickie Adkins of Youngstown shops for Christmas gifts for her grandchildren, Kei’Sean, Nakaia and Tre’Sean McRae, at the Mahoning County Salvation Army gift distribution. About 2,000 children from 1,500 families are slated to receive Christmas gifts through the program, which continued today for preregistered families.

By William K. Alcorn



More than 2,000 girls and boys will jump up and down with glee when they find gifts under their Christmas trees this year that they might not have received without the Mahoning County Salvation Army’s annual Christmas giveaway.

It’s a big financial help at Christmas, said Carmen Morales of Youngstown, who shopped Monday for her four daughters at a warehouse in the Austintown Plaza stocked with a wide variety of toys, craft sets, books, puzzles and clothing donated to the Salvation Army.

Also, said Morales, a full-time employee of SBM Site Services, it’s nice to be able to shop and tailor presents to her daughters’ ages and interests.

Shelonda Glenn of Youngstown, who is out of work, also said being able to shop in the Salvation Army’s Christmas gift store for her two daughters helps financially.

The Mahoning County Salvation Army has conducted a Christmas present giveaway for many years, but the shopping aspect was introduced this year by Maj. Valerie K. Kahn, co-coordinator of the Salvation Army’s Mahoning County Area Services with her husband, Maj. Elijah O. Kahn.

Parents of more than 2,000 preregistered needy children from 1,500 families shopped for Christmas toys and clothes, donated through the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program.

Distribution for preregistered children was in a warehouse in the Austintown Plaza on Mahoning Avenue on Monday and today from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. On Wednesday, the Salvation Army will provide toys at the same location to unregistered needy children on a first-come, first-served basis from 1 to 4 p.m. Parents must show proof of residency in Mahoning County and proof of guardianship for their children. Also, families, men, women and the elderly will receive Christmas food vouchers during the three-day event.

Gregg Ziegler of Austintown and other members of Smith Corners United Methodist Church were among the small army of volunteers who helped shoppers navigate through the warehouse and bag gifts. Ziegler said everybody seemed appreciative and to like the shopping aspect.

Some of the volunteers are school-oriented.

Kayleigh Choma of Austintown, a freshman at Eureka College in Illinois, said she has never before worked with the Salvation Army, but while a member of the Interact Club at Austintown Fitch High School, she participated in volunteer activities through the Rotary Club.

The Salvation Army toy program is a tradition for eighth-grade members of Poland Middle School’s Junior Leadership Club. Some of the Poland students participating Monday were Bella Bury, Gabriella Hryb, Marissa Vardavas, Gina Cooper and Jeff Vrabel. Club advisers are teachers Pam Angelilli and Irene Consiglio.

“We want every child in Mahoning County to have a present to open at Christmas,” said Maj. Elijah Kahn, who thanked all the businesses, churches, schools, stores and everyone who helped by sponsoring the Angel Tree Program and in other ways.

“The generosity and support from Mahoning Valley has been wonderful,” he said.


1IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

They should give the kids GUNS as Christmas gifts. GUNS are what keep us all sooooo safe!! The one thing we need more of in our society is GUNS.

According to FOX NEWS, it's Hollywood that is causing all the homicides in this country, they say we have too many violent movies and too many violent video games. Thank God we have GUNS to keep us SAFE from those type of things!!

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2ndtaltoan(1 comment)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Not everyone got the same treatment as everyone else. My kids didnt get any hats, gloves or outfit. My kids also recieved only one toy each, I stood in line for 3 hours for those things, while I see people who went early in the dayu and recieved much more. Now my appointment was at 6:00pm and didnt get in the building until 8:45pm and there wasnt really nothing left, so do you think thats fair.

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3redeye1(5670 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

@IslandMike That 's GREAT idea, I think I'll buy my 7 yr old grandson an AR15 for christmas and his sister a snubnose 38. Thanks i was sitting here trying to think what I can buy them that will surprise them Thanks again!!!!!!!

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4whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Shaking my head at you ndtaltoan , IS THAT FAIR, wow now you joined the gimme , gimme race. How about a block of wood and a pocket knife. Take the children to the children cancer ward and sing carols, volunteer at the pantries ? No wonder the children think Christmas is all about getting and not giving. Happiness comes from within.

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5redeye1(5670 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

White I was at a toy giveaway in Pa last week. I was totally surprise at how the people acted. They weren't glad to recieve free stuff.They were very demanding, if the place didn't have the toys that they wanted, they got PO'd. Its become a sham!!!!

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6Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago


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7Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago


Are you that dense? Oh society today.......

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8IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

FAIR. They hold it every year in Canfield! Like WhiteSabbath said, go visit a Children's Hospital and visit the cancer care ward and then get back to us and let us know about 'fair.'

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9TB(1167 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

nd...how did you access the internet to post this?

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