Thanks to the kindness of strangers, hundreds of those in need pick up presents for under the tree

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, hundreds of those in need pick up presents for under the tree

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Chinatown residents Elisa and Wailoi Lee walked out of Salvation Army’s Downtown distribution center Wednesday with smiles on their faces — and a cart filled with goodies.

“ABC blocks and a Lego puzzle for my grandson and a rice pot and the coffee pot for us,” Elisa Lee said.

It’s the second year she and her husband are receiving gifts through the Salvation Army Angel Tree program.

They were among hundreds of program recipients who lined the streets Wednesday morning to get Angel Tree gifts from generous donors.

Since October, families in need have headed to Salvation Army locations to write down items they wanted under their Christmas tree. Their wish tags were put on Christmas trees in Central Pacific Bank branches and shopping malls across the state, where people could pick them up and fulfill those wishes.

People were also able to donate money or purchase gift cards for families at CPB branches, Burger Kings and malls.

“For the people who get to take part in it by giving, I think it means a lot,” Maj. Jeff Martin, Salvation Army divisional commander for Hawaii.

“And the people who come because they’re in need, I think it makes all the difference just to be able to have a little bit of something extra on Christmas. It allows those who are struggling temporarily just to be able to supply something for their kids.”

The presents ranged from bicycles and action figures for the keiki to rice cookers and slow cookers for kupuna.

The Angel Tree program will distribute more than 15,000 gifts to Hawaii families in need this holiday.

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