Restoring Christmas for a Family Sick with COVID
The timing couldn’t have been worse. Evelyn, a single mom in Elgin, and two of her three kids tested positive for COVID just before Thanksgiving last year. Not only was Evelyn so sick she couldn’t move for a few days, she had to take three weeks off her job in customer service with no pay. “I was planning on using those last few checks toward Christmas gifts,” she said. “However, that didn’t happen.”
While her dad and stepmom dropped off food for the sick family, Evelyn feared she would have to tell her kids – now ages 8, 6, and 3 – that Santa wasn’t coming that year. “They would have understood,” she said. But no mom wants to have that conversation with her children.
Thankfully, Evelyn remembered the past help The Salvation Army has given her with rent and Christmas presents. She called the Elgin Corps Community Center, and they signed her up for the Angel Tree program, which provides Christmas presents to children, teens, and seniors who wouldn’t receive them otherwise.
Evelyn’s youngest received musical toys, her 6-year-old daughter some Wonder Woman pajamas, and her 8-year-old son some toy cars. “They were excited to receive the gifts,” Evelyn said. And the best part? “I was able to put a smile on my kids’ faces.”
While Evelyn eventually got paid for those weeks when she was sick, it wasn’t until after the holidays. In the meantime, she was grateful that The Salvation Army’s generous donors made Christmas happen for her family, ensuring that Hope Marches On. She now tells others who are struggling to go to the Army, saying from firsthand experience, “It’s a place you can always go when you need help.”