SCRANTON, Pa. — The last-minute dash to get presents looked a bit different along Pittston Avenue in Scranton.
The Catherine McAuley Center set up a shopping experience for low-income moms and dads. One mom we spoke to, who didn't want to appear on camera, doubted her family would have a Christmas at all.
"A single mom like me, I haven't really been able to work. With COVID going on, my kids being in and out of school, it's a lot. So, I'm grateful for it," she said.
"They let us know what our children's needs are, and we're able to provide toys, pajamas, stocking stuffers, blankets. We give information about the programs that we do and the food pantry that we have," said Mary Pat Ward from the Catherine McAuley Center.
The gifts come from Toys for Tots and other charities in Scranton. The Catherine McAuley Center wants to get a good variety. While Christmas is all about the kids, the volunteers want the parents to get into the Christmas spirit too.
"Honestly and truthfully, I haven't felt Christmas spirit or haven't been in a Christmas mood for a very long time. But since I have my own children, I'm able to live it through them. So, it's an amazing feeling."
"There's something about this toy and gift giveaway that I find special," Ward added. "I was also a parent in need back in the day. I received services here from the Catherine McAuley Center back in 2005. There's something about that dignity and respect to be able to walk through and pick those gifts for your children and be able to go home and wrap them."
The moms and dads agree that ripping the wrapping paper off on Christmas morning will be the best part.
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