Christmas in the valley

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Moreno Valley Corps prepares for season of giving.

The Moreno Valley, Calif. corps’ Christmas efforts are underway with preparations to serve food and toys to 300 families. Under the direction of Captains Jeff and Trina Pockett, the corps family and local volunteers work tirelessly to ensure a successful Christmas season.

The communities of Moreno Valley and Perris are responding well to the Red Kettle campaign as two new stores in town have welcomed the program. The corps is also having its first annual Red Kettle Day, when local service clubs and volunteers will man the kettles to show their support for the Army.

Captain Trina Pockett is making sure The Salvation Army Giving Tree is well decorated with tags, each bearing the name and age of a young person in need of a Christmas gift. This year the corps will distribute over 600 toys.

Captain Pockett says, “We are grateful for our volunteer staff who dedicate endless hours to serving God during the Christmas season. The Salvation Army’s volunteers truly build this Army of compassion.”

Here, she shares a story from last Christmas:

“Last year we helped a family who without the support of The Salvation Army would not have been able to provide a meal and gifts for their children. Bert and Maria struggle monthly to provide a safe home and food for their two sons. The parents are both physically disabled—Bert was injured on the job a few years ago and Maria has been blind since birth. Their two young boys, like most kids around the holidays, are busy preparing Christmas wish lists and letters to Santa. Until last year, Bert and Maria did not know that organizations such as The Salvation Army help with food and toys at Christmas. Bert said, “Sometimes it’s just really hard to ask for help.” In fact, we would not have been able to provide assistance to them if it were not for an employee of the school that one of their sons attends—who also volunteers at the Moreno Valley Corps.

Even in this day and age of advanced technology, people are still out there feeling hopeless, thinking that no one cares, embarrassed to ask for help. Let’s make it our mission to let everyone know that we are here to help in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This season—full of applications for assistance, kettle routes, prayer groups, service clubs, Giving Tree tags, and endless counting of coins—it is our desire that through all these efforts, the communities of Moreno Valley and Perris would know that the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.”

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