ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- For some families the holiday season isn't the most wonderful time of the year, but the Salvation Army is trying to make sure it's a little brighter for those in need of assistance.
The holiday season has been hard on Edward Holmes for the past couple of years. He's been unemployed since getting hurt at work in 2008. So he's grateful the Salvation Army can help him give gifts to his children.
"It's a tremendous help. Tremendous. I mean, living off of one income, you know. We have just enough to pay the bills. And, you know, it helps a lot,” Holmes said.
Hundreds came out to the first day of registration for the salvation army's food for the needy and toy house drive. Parents like single mom Jolene Roberts-Vehec want to make sure their children have a happy holiday even though life isn't so easy right now.
"It helps a lot. I enjoy that she's going to have a good Christmas. That she'll have toys, and that," said Roberts-Vehec.
10,000 people got help last year and Salvation Army volunteers expect to serve about the same this year.
"People are really grateful for the assistance. You know, it's been a hard year. We've had a lot of unemployment this year in our community. So there's definitely a need for it. And families are really grateful that they'll be able to provide this Christmas,” said Candice Berg, a volunteer with the Salvation Army.
You can register for a holiday food basket or toys for your children at the former Sears Essentials building on Riverside in Loves Park. Registration is from nine to four, and ends this Friday.