WEST MANCHESTER TWP., YORK CO. -- We all see the red kettles each and every holiday season... but we don't always see the families that are helped by the generous donations of the community.
One Central Pennsylvania family says they are proud to be a direct product of the Salvation Army.
Garret Foust is a soldier for the Salvation Army, "I'm able to stand strong in the household and keep a job and maintain my family."
Like many others, he struggled with addiction. So, he turned to the corps for help."I didn't know from one day to the other if I was gonna make it with my children."
"It wasn't until I came to the Salvation Army where I had some hope and some light."
With the help of year round programs and resources available to him and more than 21-thousand other individuals in York County, Garret's life changed.
He says "They embraced me... Once I felt hat love from the Salvation Army, it was all she wrote."
Garret met his wife Marietta while working at the salvation army's food pantry on East King street in York. She says they came together as soldiers in their church.
Marietta faced her own personal battles before finding salvation in the corps.
"I didn't know from one day to the other if I was gonna make it with my children."
Because of the generosity the Salvation Army has shown the Fousts, they now do all they can to give back to the organization that has given them so much.
Garret says he is a direct product of the Salvation Army, "We continue with the outreach of the Salvation Army in any capacity that will have us."
And they do... in the Frigid cold, bell ringing and playing music-- the Fousts and their son Damion, give back by volunteering their time and talents to help families in need.
Damion sings Christmas songs while ringing the bells, "It makes me feel emotional because it makes me feel like I'm helping"
The money donated through the Salvation Army Red Kettle program provides toys to more than 2-thousand children for Christmas, as well as holiday meals to families in need throughout York County.
Marietta says "That's really overwhelming to see them come up to the red bucket and put their money in."
Officers with the Salvation Army say all donations are humbly and graciously accepted… that includes gold coins, jewelry and other non-monetary items.
They say the items are sold to a vendor and the proceeds are credited to the red kettle campaign.
There is still time to donate to the Red Kettle campaign.
Text: ORKYork to 71777
The Salvation Army of York is accepting new toy donations up until December 24th, and Kettles will be out until around 4 pm Christmas eve.
The year-round programs and services available at the Salvation Army of York County include emergency services to families, which help to keep them in their homes, while providing safe and productive environments at work and school.
The corps also provides youth services which focus on reducing the drop-out rates through learning centers, after school and summer camp programs that aim to give youth a great start in life.
If you want to learn more, or to donate, head to: www.salvationarmyyork.org