PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Kate Bilo met a Philadelphia family who showed us how much it meant to them to be helped through the Joy of Sharing Toy Fest and the Salvation Army.
Eleven-year-old Maurice, 10-year-old Darryl, and 8-year-old Marcus Sutton of Olney love sports and videogames.READ MORE: CBS3 Mysteries: Don Ly's Children Continue To Search For Answers After Father's American Dream Ended In Deadly Stabbing In South Philadelphia
Bilo asked them, “So on a scale of one to 10, how excited are you about Christmas?”
“Ten!” Marcus said.
“Like 110 percent!” Darryl said.
They also like thinking up the next generation of toys.
“Two robots,” Darryl said. “To clean up my room and give me something to eat.”
“I’d rather have one to do my homework,” Marcus said.
Christmas has not always been so carefree. In 2015, their mother, Linda Sutton, started having trouble breathing, then started fainting. Her doctor found two large blood clots.
“He said my blood clots were so big, they were smothering my heart,” Linda said. “That’s why I could not breathe, and he said, ‘You shouldn’t even be alive.'”READ MORE: Camden County Businesses, Officials Worry As Heavy Rains, Flooding Become More Common
Linda was hospitalized for a week. Not long afterward, her 14-year-old daughter Kelsey was hospitalized too. The bills kept coming.
Linda reached out to the Salvation Army, who helped with food and Christmas gifts, even tickets to Disney on Ice.
“They gave us so much,” Linda said.
Major Philip Ferreira of the Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia said, “We’re about trying to make people’s lives a bit better.”
Thanks to generous donations, the Salvation Army can give out tens of thousands of toys every year, reaching more than 14,000 children at Christmas.
“We purchase a certain amount of toys, but we would not be able to meet the need without the support of people in our community,” he said.
Linda said the Salvation Army surprised her. “They didn’t just give presents to my kids. They gave stuff to me and my husband.”
“So they made it special for you, too,” Kate said.
“Really, really special,” Linda said.
Linda is getting better. She hopes soon, she and her kids will be helping families like they were helped.MORE NEWS: Upper Darby Police Investigating Death Of Newborn Found In Bag
“And I told them one year we’re going to do this,” she said. “We’re going to be on the other side of this table.”