What started out as a simple question on the You KNOW you're from Rochester, NH if you... page on Facebook turned out to be one of the most heartwarming community acts of the season.

Salvation Army provides Christmas help to those in need

While some kids open up more gifts than they could ever imagine or dream of on Christmas morning, there are unfortunately some kids and families who are going through a rough time and need assistance. Thankfully for those families, the Salvation Army offers assistance during the holiday season so that every kid possible can open gifts on Christmas.

Because of the high demand of requests that the Salvation Army sees on a yearly basis, they need to institute a registration deadline so they can look at all the registrants and do what they can to help those in need who requested help. And that is what Samantha Marshall was attempting to do.

The Salvation Army Christmas registration deadline had passed

When asking what the deadline for Salvation Army registration was and requesting help and guidance in her post in the Facebook group, Samantha was told that unfortunately, the deadline had already passed and she had missed out on registering her kids for assistance.

But that's when the heart of the Rochester community grew three sizes. Samantha received a message from someone she didn't know in response to her post.

"A woman had mentioned to me making a wish list for my kids on Amazon, so I did and multiple people reached out and got each girl a gift. Our Christmas went from not knowing if they'd have anything to open, to them having a very nice Christmas."

While Samantha said she did know one of the gift givers, the others who sent gifts chose to remain anonymous -- which, quite honestly, is proof that you're doing an act of kindness strictly because it's coming from the heart and not looking for the notoriety that comes with it. Samantha said that completely strangers got her one-year-old bath toys, interaction learning toys, and soft books, while her seven-year-old received Paw Patrol toys, a slime kit, art kits, and fidget spinners.

Mostly all from complete strangers.

"People even put messages in with their packages. Some of them said "from Santa" so that made it that much more "magical." It was cool for me to show the message "from Santa" to my oldest; kind of reassured her that he is real."

Rochester's Christmas Spirit came through for Samantha just in time

Santa didn't only come through for Samantha's children, but Santa and the magic of the Christmas Spirit also came through for Samantha herself. She mentioned that it has been a really super rough holiday season so far, but this has really brought the light to her eyes and made her see the good that's out there again.

"The fact that people reached out for my babies meant the world to me."

And THAT is what Christmas is all about. Well done, Rochester. Well done indeed.

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