KILLEEN, TX — 2020 has been a trying year for many of us in the community, but for one single mother of five, it pushed her to her breaking point.
She lost her job, was evicted from her apartment and then left homeless. Now she's picking up the pieces and with the help of one local nonprofit, her kids will have everything they want and more come Christmas morning.
For Sandra Daniels, her children are her everything. Earlier this year, she had to choose between them and her job. That decision was no-brainer.
“All my children got sick, so I was late a few days, and then I lost my job. Then I couldn’t pay the rent, so then I lost my apartment. That was a really hard time for me. That was probably one of the worst moments in my life actually,” Daniels said.
For months, the single mom has been working to get back on her feet, but she knew she would not be able to give her children everything they wanted for Christmas.
With help from the AYADD Outreach Center, and Santa of course, they worked together to make sure her kids had something to open on Christmas morning.
“It’s not even an expression that I can use because it’s more than... I’m just speechless,” Daniels said.
The AYADD Outreach Center works year-round to make every day feel like Christmas for the Killeen community. With a year like 2020, their generosity is much needed.
“I felt blessed to be able to give back to someone as a community,” said AYADD Board Member Barbara Maufas.
“We have to support each other, and when we see one who is falling or is suffering, it’s up to us to bring each other up," said community leader Keke Williams.
“We are a community that's strong. We are a community that's strong with my stories, one of many stories of people who got together despite COVID, and we made Christmas happen,” said Sandra Minor, Executive Director of AYADD Outreach Center.
Daniels told 25 News Santa’s helpers at the AYADD Outreach Center have turned a year that started off with uncertainty and sadness into one ending with hope and happiness.
“Just to see and know people, they do those things and still want to help and give back... it’s a lot. It’s overwhelming to say the least,” she said.
If you are in need of holiday assistance, you can find free toys, presents for kids, meals, groceries, food, and more right in Central Texas. Some of the agencies that provide Christmas help are religious-oriented, but they will not discriminate based on age, race, religion or gender.