presentsLeslie Paris, a single mother of four kids ages 4-15, works full-time at a preschool and takes classes two nights a week at the local community college. She gets food stamps, but not enough to feed a large, growing family.

After paying rent, bills, car insurance, gas, and other expenses, there’s very little left over — and that’s really difficult at Christmas.

Last year, Leslie decided to do something about that, so she applied for holiday help with The Salvation Army. They gave her a food voucher for a holiday meal, and pointed her to the Christmas Castle to pick out presents for her children.

At the Castle — in Boston and duplicated in smaller cities around the state — parents can shop (at no cost to them) for items for their families. They can choose from toys, clothing, and food vouchers — or all three.

Last year’s Christmas Castle served more than 14,000 children and adults in Boston alone, and thousands more around Massachusetts.

Leslie is just one of thousands of parents who worry about providing for their children, especially during the holidays. Will there be a Christmas dinner? Will there be a tree — or any presents beneath it? Will we be warm? Will there be any yuletide joy?

The Salvation Army’s Christmas Castle addresses these needs. Just ask Leslie, who says the program “is helping me put a brighter smile on my kids’ faces on Christmas morning.”

Thank you for your compassion and generosity!