Adopted family gets a Christmas surprise
MINTURN – Jennie Garcia was up-front with her kids.Garcia, a single mother of three kids 6 and younger, told her brood before Christmas there was no money for presents.”I told them we have food and we have a place to live, but there wouldn’t be presents from mommy,” she said.That’s when help arrived. Thanks to an anonymous donor and the Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family program, Christmas is coming in a big way to Garcia’s little house in Minturn.A few days before Christmas, Minturn Police Chief Lorenzo Martinez rolled up to Garcia’s house with a big surprise: The back end of his squad car was stuffed with packages.
“It was amazing when he showed up,” Garcia said. “With day-care costs and three in day care over Christmas, I just couldn’t afford to buy gifts.”With money tight, Garcia is an occasional visitor to the Salvation Army food bank in Edwards. During a recent visit to the food bank, Salvation Army case worker Tsu Wolin Brown asked Garcia if she’d like to put her name on the Adopt-a-Family list.”When she asked, I said I’d like just one item each for them – snow boots,” Garcia said. The way Adopt-a-Family works, another family, church or other group gets a “needs list” for a family, then fills that list, buying needed items and presents. The donors remain anonymous, and they only know the first names and ages of kids they buy items for.”Lorenzo showed up with 25 boxes,” Garcia said. “It was wonderful.”
Garcia’s kids’ eyes glow a little brighter when asked about the surprise delivery. “I said ‘yay!'” said daughter Cassondra Garcia, 6, the oldest of the three kids. And, of course, all the kids wanted to open presents. But that has to wait. “They don’t know what anything is yet,” Garcia said. “It’s not Christmas.”Although Garcia doesn’t know who provided her family with such a wonderful Christmas, she plans to send a note to them through the Salvation Army. “I just want to let them know how much I appreciate this,” she said.Cassondra is happy for the gifts under the tree, too.”It’s nice,” she said. “It makes me feel good.”
Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14624, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado