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Seasons Of Hope: Helping A Family Of 10

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COLOGNE, Minn. (WCCO) — In communities all around us, there is no shortage of good, hard-working families that just need a little help to get through tough times. So, in this Season of Hope, WCCO is connecting families in need with those who can help.

A family of 10 in Cologne, Minn. had one wish for one child, but can now be grateful for so much more.

Steve and his wife have eight kids. They moved to Cologne eight years ago when the economy was good and Steve had a solid job. But things changed.

“I ran my own business and I had to close the doors because of the economy,” said Steve. “And then I decided to get a different career change where I got laid off from that. And then I took a couple jobs that paid a lot less than normal.”

He was a home inspector and when the housing market collapsed, so did his safety net.

WCCO’s Frank Vascellaro and Amelia Santaniello sat down to talk about the ways the Salvation Army is helping, with things like propane to heat their home and clothes for the kids; and how this situation can happen to just about anyone.

“That’s why I chose that career,” he said. “Because I thought that was a pretty reliable career. But it happens.”

In fact, the Salvation Army will help around 30,000 people this holiday season. And they helped WCCO organize some special surprises for Steve and his children.

Papa Murphy’s gave them a certificate for free pizza for a year. Great Clips sent a $100 gift card for haircuts. They also got a family membership to the Science Museum of Minnesota, a family pass to Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America and tickets to a Harlem Globetrotters game. But that was just the start. On behalf of the Salvation Army, Target provided a $500 gift card and bags of toys from an Easy Bake Oven to a Nook, a portable DVD player, an iPod Nano and a Wii.

While the kids cracked open all the presents, WCCO told them there was one more big surprise for an 18-year-old girl who’d always been self-conscious about her smile. Bryanna will get free braces and orthodontic care provided by the Minnesota Dental Association and the Smiles Change Lives Program.

The Smiles Change Lives program is now serving low-income kids in the Minneapolis area. Click on the links below for more information and an application for low-cost, full orthodontic treatment.
Smiles Change Lives
Smiles Change Lives Application (PDF)

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In communities all around us, there is no shortage of good, hard-working families that just need a little help to get through tough times. So, in this Season of Hope, WCCO is connecting families in need with those who can help. Fore information about charities you can donate to, click on the link below.
Season Of Hope: Find Ways To Give

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