By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today, in this season of giving, members of a West Philadelphia social service agency were preparing Christmas stockings for people forced to spend the holiday at a local shelter.

The People’s Emergency Center gathered goodies donated from Citizens Bank employees for this year’s annual “Stockings of Love” program.

“We’ll be handing them out to the families who live with us in our shelter, in our transitional housing, and also to some who live in our permanent housing,” says Farah Jimenez, president and CEO of the People’s Emergency Center.

“The holidays is a challenging time for families,” she says.  “It’s often filled with sadness because they’re not in their own home, celebrating in the comforts and the surroundings that are familiar to them.  Instead, they’re in a place that can feel pretty institutional.  We try to make it as warm as possible, but it feels great to be reminded that there are people in the larger community who care about them and make efforts to fill their holidays with joy.”

What items fill the stockings?

“They’re filled with toiletries and toys, which are the things the people need and the things that lift people’s spirits during the holiday season,” she tells KYW Newsradio.

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