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Salvation Army helps local families on distribution day

Organization hands out food baskets, gifts for Christmas

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - The Salvation Army distributed its food baskets and gifts for families in need throughout the La Crosse area on Wednesday.

Every year, more and more families are signing up for a little bit of extra help.

Rebecca Nelson, a mother of three who works full-time at a day care in La Crosse, recently moved back to the area and has been finding it hard to make ends meet. However, she is determined to make sure her family is together for Christmas.

"It started about five years ago. I had a little boy and his dad had lost his job right before the recession hit," Nelson said.

She tells News 8 that she spends most of her time at the hospital because two of her kids have a blood disorder that requires multiple blood transfusions a year.

"Especially this year, Chloe has had a lot more health issues so we've just struggled a lot more just staying afloat," said Nelson.

As the hospital bills continue to pile up, their Christmas money diminishes.

"We both work full-time, but it just seems like it is never enough," Nelson said.

So they are reaching out to the La Crosse community for help. On Wednesday, the Salvation Army distributed its food baskets and Angel Tree gifts to families in need.

"All the Angel Tree gifts come from donations, so community members pick Angel Tree tags and then they go out and buy the gifts," said the Salvation Army Public Relations Director Julie Nelson. She said donors fulfilled every tag filled out this year, including those for Rebecca Nelson's kids.


"We do let them (our kids) know where the Angel Tree comes from...that someone gave from their heart to give to them," Nelson said.

Not only do these donations help Nelson breathe a sigh of relief, but they will also help her family enjoy Christmas a little more this year.

"That is kind of what Christmas is about. It gives hope to people. This is our hope...we will be okay, things aren't great, but things will be okay, we'll get through it," said Nelson.

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