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Salvation Army volunteer wants to pay it forward this holiday season

Kristina Beaver volunteers in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – Kristina Beaver is a hard-working 45-year-old mother who calls the Salvation Army her second home.

Beaver said she turned her life around 13 years ago after moving to Orlando from California.

“Everybody’s rock bottom is different. For me, my rock bottom was that I lost three kids,” she said. “I’ve lost everything. I was living in my car and I got arrested for stuff."

Kristina lost custody of her three kids, except for her 12-year-old son, Timothy. The two are part of the Salvation Army family and use their free time to volunteer throughout the week.

Thanks to the Angel Tree program, Timothy was able to open gifts on Christmas day.

“It’s a God-send because you can make your bills, pay your bills, you can do everything you can to try and get just a little extra money,” Beaver said.

Kristina and Timothy want to change things up a bit for the holidays this year. Instead of receiving gifts, they want to give others the chance to have the same enjoyment they’ve experienced the last several years through the Angel Tree program.

"Shopping for those kids, making their bags, that is the best present you can give yourself because it fulfills a need that you have," Beaver said.

She said she wants to teach her son that there is a purpose in life and that anyone can make a difference, not just during the holidays.

"Help others. Put a hand out there. You'll be surprised what happens. There might be a little something there for you that you didn't know was there and it might be the best thing ever," Beaver said.

Kristina and Timothy are not registering for Angel Tree this year, but have plans on volunteering to help wrap gifts at the Salvation Army.


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