" The last few days have just been hours and hours, some of us haven't been to bed in a couple of days", said Major Patricia Wetter. Volunteers with the Oroville Salvation Army have been working round the clock to ensure those in need will have plenty of gifts to unwrap and food to eat this Christmas. " I started out the morning crying just because it's so exciting to give back", said Wetter.
Wednesday started early for most of these volunteers, organizing food baskets and bags full of toys that will be distributed to the 300 families that signed up for assistance in Oroville. Organizers say this year's need was higher than ever. " This Christmas, people that have never had to ask for assistance have, and because of the economy and loss of jobs, we have had to help them", said Wetter.
The even helps people like Debbie LaFauci, who turned to the salvation army this year to ensure her children don't go without. " It's a great help for me because I can't afford much for my children and I want them to have a wonderful Christmas and the gifts mean a lot", said LaFauci. And it's that appreciation and joy that make the long hours and hard work worth it to volunteers. " I just enjoy seeing the kids, they get so excited and the feeling that you get knowing you're helping people in need is just amazing", said Volunteer K.C. Hunter.
But the volunteers aren't the only heroes, organizers say none of it would be possible without members from the community that donate and give back each year. " From somebody who was able to buy one gift, to somebody who bought a dozen we're so grateful because the one helps a child", said Wetter.