Filling Hearts During the Holidays

Nov 3, 2021

Sterling Mason stared at the utility bills in her hands with a sinking feeling inside. She and her daughter had just moved into the house they were renting, and already it seemed her finances were slipping out of control. The holidays were just around the corner.

“I couldn’t foresee myself affording a single Christmas present,” Sterling recalls. “We didn’t even have beds to sleep in at the time. I had to pay toward my security deposit along with my rent – financially, it was very tight. My daughter was already involved with youth programs at The Salvation Army Royal Oak Corps Community Center, so I signed up for assistance.”

Sterling and her daughter were placed on the Angel Tree list as a family to adopt. However, by this point, Sterling wasn’t feeling hopeful. She saw the needs mounting in her family’s life and just could not see how her situation could improve much.

“When the caseworker called and told me we had been adopted, I started bawling. She started asking the sizes of our clothes. I said, “Me, too?” and she said yes. I hadn’t had a winter coat in four years. That alone would have cost me $100 that I simply didn’t have.”

The family received gift cards, sheets, comforters, clothes, cleaning supplies, and other essentials, not to mention gifts for Sterling’s daughter.

“I couldn’t stop crying when I saw my daughter get everything she asked for. I was so moved by the thoughtfulness and generosity of the whole thing,” says Sterling.

This year, Sterling is planning on reaching out not only for assistance, but to volunteer for The Salvation Army as well.

“I want to pack some boxes and give back in some way. If I can hug a couple of people, that’ll be good too,” Sterling laughs. “Giving to The Salvation Army is such an awesome thing to do. You don’t necessarily know who you’re giving to, but giving will fill your heart. Trust and believe that the person receiving is having their heart filled, too.”


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