DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Over 4,000 families in the Miami Valley are sure to have a Christmas meal thanks to the Salvation Army and officials said the turnout this year is a little larger than last, partly due to families still recovering from the Memorial Day tornadoes.
More than 9,800 Miami Valley residents showed up to the Salvation Army Dayton Kroc Center Thursday and Friday morning to get their turkeys and more which is made possible because of the red kettle fundraiser the group does every year.
“We did the singles yesterday, this is the families of two and up,” said Major Stan Senak, the Kroc Center administrator. “We provide them with a gift card to Kroger and a turkey, and it’s really just so they can have a holiday meal.”
Senak said they saw a few new faces at this year’s annual event, many who were hit by the Memorial Day tornadoes.
“We were out there so I knew the neighborhoods, so as soon as I saw the certain address I’d say ‘Oh my goodness,’ but it’s just really good that they know we’re here for you as well as the whole community,” said Senak.
Jamesia Ruffin said it’s not her first time at the Christmas food assistance distribution but that this year has been extremely difficult as her family is still recovering from the tornadoes but she’s thankful this holiday season to be Dayton strong.
“It really does help a lot, especially if you don’t have anything for Christmas yet,” said Ruffin. “My family was hit with the tornadoes as well, but we’re standing strong. So even though you lose things, it’s a minor setback for a major comeback.”
The red kettle fundraiser is going on until Christmas Eve and Senak said they are over halfway to their goal of $200,000.
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