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Hard-luck family will get some holiday help

| Monday, Dec. 13, 2004

Charles is unemployed; his wife, Georgeanne, is suffering from depression; and Christmas is coming.

Their situation was the same last year at this time.

In spite of problems at home, their children, Brian, 10, and Erin, 11, have studied hard at school and earned good grades.

Last Christmas, Salvation Army workers helped these troubled parents by providing gifts for their children. Now, Brian and Erin are hoping someone will make this Christmas a joyous one -- just like last year.

They won't be disappointed. The Salvation Army's Adopt-A-Family program will provide this Pittsburgh family with food, toys, gift certificates and clothes to help them celebrate the season. And Operation Santa Claus will give them the special foods they need to prepare a traditional holiday meal, as well as holiday stockings for Brian and Erin.

This year, Operation Santa Claus will provide 8,165 bags of groceries to families like Charles' and Georgeanne's in Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland, Fayette and Indiana counties for their Christmas dinners. A total of 9,655 children also will be presented with holiday stockings.

Each grocery bag contains the ingredients for a complete holiday meal, including a gift certificate valued at $10 for a meat item of the family's choice.

Also on the menu: scalloped potatoes, stuffing, green beans, whole kernel corn, fruit-flavored gelatin, fruit cocktail, applesauce, blueberry muffins, snack crackers, holiday cookies and hot cocoa.

Each stocking contains an assortment of sweets and treats, including crayons and activity books for children 12 and younger. Parents will be able to select a book for each of their children from the thousands of books donated to the holiday campaign.

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