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Thousands visit Oncenter for Christmas Bureau Distribution

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Christmas Bureau Distribution Day
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The generous support of the community is helping make the holiday season easier for about 3,000 families. The Syracuse Area Salvation Army is holding its annual Christmas Bureau Distribution event at the Oncenter today. As our Brad Vivacqua tells us, the event wouldn't be possible without hundreds of volunteers.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Lieutenant Colonel Ed Cook with the 174th Attack Wing spent some time making sure Friday's Christmas Bureau Distribution at the Oncenter went smoothly.

"We have about fifty or sixty volunteers that come down throughout the day, and we make sure that the boxes get handed to the families, whether they're a walk through or whether they're driving up with their cars," said Lt. Col. Cook.

The annual Salvation Army event was expected to attract about 2,800 pre-registered families through the day. Out from the cold and into the warm Oncenter, people lined up to receive food baskets and other gifts.

In addition to a holiday basket with a turkey on top, every family with a child gets a book, a toy, and a stocking stuffer for every child.

Samantha Pitcher is thankful she was able to get some help for her five children.

"I tell my kids every day, be thankful for what you've got and it is, be grateful because a lot of kids go without Christmas, and if it wasn't for them, a lot of kids wouldn't have anything," said Pitcher.

Throughout the day, more than 800 volunteers helped coordinate and distribute the gifts that mean so much to these families in need.

"It's an amazing thing for those who have experienced this event, to come here and see the outpouring of support from individuals and companies as well is really, it makes your heart feel good," said Greg Meitus, Syracuse Salvation Army Marketing Director.

"I've been doing this for 14 years now, and I do it just because I have the ability to do it and it's the right thing to do," said Lt. Col. Cook.

And the right thing to do, is certainly making a lot of people in need a lot happier this Christmas.

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