DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – The holidays are always busy, and while this year may be different there are always those in need.

In the spirit of giving, a special group of helpers are getting involved this holiday season.

Alicia Skrivanie, Kelly Brosig and Alec Paplham are no strangers to helping others during the holidays. They have been donating toys to the Salvation Army for six years.

“I think it’s cool to get everybody within different departments across the bank involved in something like this and bring us all together at this time of year,” says Paplham.

This year, they are looking for new ways to get involved in their community. In the past, they’ve done the Red Kettle bell ringing, and this year their department is participating in the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A Family program, adopting 13 families, which will help nearly 70 people who otherwise may not have a gift to unwrap on Christmas.

“I wanted to bring something in where we could help families out during the holidays and lift the burden of the financial part,” says Brosig.

Though they’ve been doing this for years, the feeling of bringing smiles to children’s faces on Christmas morning never gets old.

“It feels awesome. I get teary-eyed just knowing it’s gonna be a happy time for them,” says Brosig.

It’s been challenging being a gift donor right now, the need is greater this year with many people out of jobs and struggling to provide food for their families due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has also changed the way they typically go shopping for gifts.

“Normally, we have a Christmas tree set up at the Associated Bank and people pick an ornament off the tree. This year, people are ordering gifts on Amazon and delivering them to designated people within their department. It’s such a tough time in general but putting a pandemic on top of it and having more of a financial strain, it’s nice to know that this year might mean even more to those families than normal,” says Skrivanie.

Knowing what they are doing is going to help so many people who have had a rough year makes all their effort worth while.

“To lift spirits up, to bring a time of happiness with what everybody’s going through is worth everything,” says Brosig.

The Salvation Army has several exciting ways to invest in your community during the holidays such as Rock the Red Kettle and Rescue Christmas.

For more information on the Salvation Army, click here.

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