PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Sheena Allen and her 5-year-old daughter London are looking at the Christmas holiday worry-free this year.

Last year, it was a different story though. Allen lost her job of 12 years at a bank in Homestead, couldn’t pay her bills, and on top of that, it was Christmas.

“When you lose your job, everything happens. The furnace went, the hot water tank, all within a matter of that month,” Sheena Allen said.

The single mom of two didn’t know what to do, and she certainly didn’t want to disappoint her kids.

“You just explain, Santa isn’t able to bring everything you want. He may just bring a few things,” Allen said.

Allen took it upon herself to learn about the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program. Companies and individuals adopt a family in need and buy gifts for them based off of their wish list.

“I can’t even tell you how much it meant to me and the family the things they received. It was a true blessing,” Allen said.

Last year, the Salvation Army says around 75 families were adopted. This year, the number has dropped to about 60. This is why the Salvation Army says it is so important to help out while there is still time.

“There’s not as many companies that want to participate. Maybe they’re going a different direction, helping a different charity, maybe because they like to spread what they do. Their good will and cheer,” Maj. Mark Mackneer, General Secretary of the Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania said.

Mackneer says the economy might also play a role.

But thanks to this program, Allen was able to give her kids a Christmas to remember. As for this Christmas, Allen is working. She got a job in May at a post office in Homestead as a mail handler’s assistant. While she doesn’t need help from the Salvation Army now, Allen wants to remind others that you might find yourself in a predicament you never expected.

“Sometimes people don’t have the funding to take care of a household, let alone Christmas,” Allen said.

If you are interested in adopting a family, just contact your local Salvation Army office and they will point you in the right direction.

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