Empty Stockings

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The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there, but for those whose stockings are empty and trees are bare, the Salvation Army is helping fill hearts and hopes this holiday season.

Capt. Dawn Worthy is an administrator for the Salvation Army. She says it's great meeting the families who come through the door just thankful for some help.

"Oh, some work very hard. Some work two jobs just to try to make ends meet for their families. So when they come through and most have only asked for clothing, it's nice when some families have gone out and purchased toys as well and have really gone above and beyond."

Five hundred fifty Bay County families waited in line for bags of clothes, food, and of course, toys.

SMSgt. Fred Casale is a volunteer with Tyndall Air Force Base. Casale was just glad to be able to help.

"There was one woman who came by earlier and you should've seen the look on her face, she was just elated. You could tell she didn't expect what she got. She was very surprised."

SSgt. Misty Grenier says this helps her get through the holiday as well.

"You get to see the smiles and that makes the day."

Those smiles are possible through Angel Tree donations and the Empty Stocking Fund. This year, the Salvation Army listed family names on the Angel Tree instead of individual names, and Capt. Worthy says the requests were filled.

"They come in without their children, so then they take the purchased items back and they wrap them, so then it's not from the Salvation Army, it's not from Toys for Tots or anyone else that donated. It's from the parents to the children."

For Christmas dreams and wishes, these parents will sleep tight because they know Santa found their home this year.