Families, individuals receive gifts in Salvation Army program

LIHUE — Santa arrived for 79 families and at least 150 individuals on Wednesday, as The Salvation Army released its holiday packages.

“This is less than the amount of applications we had last year,” said Lt. Elizabeth Gross of the Salvation Army, Lihue Corps. “I hope it’s because there are less people who need help because the economy has turned and they are being successful. We also anticipate a number of walk-ins who will be taken care of as time allows.”

Gross said the distribution numbers include families who have set up appointments to accommodate their group and includes items from the Angel Tree program, Toys for Tots and contributions people.

Irie Paluhiko was one of those families waiting for the distribution.

“I want a scooter for Christmas,” said 4-year-old Leila.

Her wishes were echoed by her brother Isiah, 5.

“Today is the last day of school before the winter break,” Irie said. “We had to come early because there will be a lot of kids coming after school gets out.”

The distribution packages included certificates for food, household items, clothing, and for families with children, unwrapped gifts from the Angel Tree that parents could wrap.

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