Wake Salvation Army’s Christmas Cheer Program ensures 6,500+ kids will have presents

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s only the beginning of November but families already have Christmas on their minds.

For many in our area, it can be a stressful time wondering how to give their kids the Christmas of their dreams. The Salvation Army of Wake County is working to relieve some of that anxiety with its Christmas Cheer Program.

Holiday cheer presents itself in different forms depending on the person. These families are getting help from the Salvation Army to ensure their kids don’t go without this Christmas.

“It means the world to me that this is going to be able to happen for him. It’s very important because for me, being a kid I remember the magic,” said Alicia Rickman, who was signing up for the Christmas Cheer Program on Friday morning in Raleigh.

Rickman, 28, immediately lit up as she talked about her 21-month-old son Noah and what his Christmas will be like next month. This time last year was not as joyful.

“There was definitely some stress and the desire to do more but just wasn’t able to,” she said. “[I was] wanting to get certain high-dollar items that were just not in my budget.”

So the mom of one did what she could. Friday was her first time signing up for the Christmas Cheer Program. After falling on hard times and losing her job, she still wanted to make sure her baby boy would wake up with a huge smile Christmas morning — and she’s not alone.

So far, over 3,000 families have signed up to make sure more than 6,500 kids don’t feel the burden of their families’ bills.

“As people struggle to make ends meet Christmas can take a back burner for a lot of kids,” said Major Aljerome Newsome.

Thousands of families will benefit from the community’s generosity this holiday season.

“It has taken a lot of stress off me and it warms my heart, it makes me happy that I can do this for him now and provide that magic Christmas feeling,” said Rickman.

Angel Christmas Trees will go up in local malls starting Nov. 8. You can donate to a child in need through Dec. 7.

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