Growing up in foster care and battling addictions and mental illness as a teen, Doreen Chalifoux never experienced a real Christmas with her family. Now the single-parent of six has been able change that for her own children with the help of The Salvation Army.
Before learning about the Christmas programs offered by The Salvation Army, Doreen remembers the heartbreak she felt when she told her then 9-year-old son they couldn’t afford to celebrate Christmas one year.
"I told him ‘I’m so sorry but we have bills to pay so we can’t have Christmas,’" says Doreen with tears in her eyes.
The following year, Doreen requested assistance through The Salvation Army Adopt-a-Family Christmas program. "We had an amazing, beautiful lady come into our home with her two kids and they got everything my kids wanted," says Doreen. "It’s hard to explain but when you can’t give your kids something and you see another mom and her kids give up something of themselves to bless you and your kids, that’s love. It had a huge impact on my life and my children. My kids had a Christmas."
For Doreen though, that Christmas was more than just gifts. "We sat and we got to talk, she told me a little about her story and how she struggled as a single-mother," says Doreen. "It has been a blessing to have The Salvation Army surround my family with love. I hope to one day do the same for other families."