COLORADO SPRINGS — News5 is on a mission to make sure veterans and active duty military know they are not alone. One national non-profit is helping veteran and military families, including families locally, that could use some extra support during the holiday season.
The organization is called Soldiers' Angels, and they're spreading some holiday cheer by adopting military and veteran families across the country. One family who lives on post at Fort Carson and moved there about six months ago was adopted.
Samantha Knight's husband, Cain, is deployed and will be away from the family next summer. This year is the family's first Christmas without him. Together, they have two kids. Their son is eight years old and their daughter is three.
"The kids are doing well. My son has his days. There's still days where I think he misses them. My daughter will wake up occasionally. The other day she was in the bathroom crying because she missed him," said Knight.
However, Soldiers' Angels is stepping up to provide the kids with gifts, and the family with a holiday meal. Children in military families don't always have a normal Christmas, but the Adopt-A-Family program is helping to make the holiday feel somewhat normal.
"This helps a lot. I feel like my kids still get to have a Christmas," said Knight. "With him being deployed, it's a lot for the kids and I think it helps them with dealing and they can kind of forget that he's deployed because they're busy opening presents."
Last year, 1,500 military and veteran families across the country were adopted through the program.
"We want to use it as an opportunity to thank them for their service," said Amy Palmer, the President and CEO of Soldiers' Angels.
Palmer, an Air Force veteran, says when a family applies to be adopted, they're matched with another adopting organization, business, or family, and then they share information about the kids and their wish list.
"For their kids, they list pajamas or undergarments, not even toys, so sometimes there's so much need. So it's an opportunity to see what life is like for a lot of families, and how they do live so paycheck to paycheck," said Palmer.
The Adopt-a-Family program is also letting hundreds of families know, like Knight's, that they are not alone.
"It makes me feel like I have someone on my side. It feels like I'm not too alone, it feels like I can wake up and be like 'ok, I have people out there that want to be there for us,' and I just got to let it happen," said Knight.
This year, 3,000 people have signed up to adopt a family, and the organization is hoping 1,700 military and veteran families will sign up to get adopted. Kids receive gifts up to $35 an item, and the family gets a $50 gift card to buy a Christmas dinner.
Families who need support or others who want to give support must submit their application before December 6. The organization is encouraging people to apply early.
You can find more information about Soldiers' Angels by clicking here.