A Child’s Last Christmas Wishes Come True
For more than 40 years, The Salvation Army Angel Tree program has been providing toys and clothes to children whose families are facing financial difficulties. Generous donors adopt each Angel, purchasing gifts unaware of specific family circumstances or situations.
Once such Angel was Khloe Salazar, a beautiful and caring little girl who began showing symptoms of Juvenile Huntington’s disease from the tender age of three. This rare and fatal genetic disease is passed from parent to child and was present on both sides of Khloe's family. Treatment was unavailable in the Salazar’s hometown of San Angelo, meaning regular and expensive trips to San Antonio and Dallas.
The entire community rallied around the family throughout Khloe’s illness, including The Salvation Army. “We were ready to assist with whatever the family needed, often working with our network of partners to help where possible. The gathering of love, empathy and prayerful support for this dear family was beautiful,” said Debbie Berryman, with The Salvation Army in San Angelo.
The Angel Tree program provides the gift of Christmas
to thousands of children across Texas.
During Christmas 2022, The Salvation Army added Khloe and her younger sister to the Angel Tree program. Khloe had very particular requests: a Christmas tree decorated in her favorite Grinch theme, Cindy Lou and the Grinch toys, and collectible gems. Much to Khloe’s delight, the Angel Tree donor delivered everything on the list, as well as clothing, blankets and more.
As Khloe’s illness progressed, The Salvation Army supported the family with diapers, pull ups, wipes and other practical supplies. “The material items provided, while necessary and much appreciated by the family, paled in comparison to the love and prayerful support the family received from friends, agencies and the community,” said Berryman.
On Monday, April 17, 2023, Khloe’s suffering was finally over, and she was taken into the arms of Jesus. Khloe experienced that joy as she celebrated her final Christmas surrounded by her loving family.
The Angel Tree program provides the gift of Christmas to thousands of children across Texas, just like Khloe, in circumstances we will never fully know.