"Even today as an adult, when I visit my parent's home 'Santa' still brings me a present on Christmas morning. I have never had to experience the feeling of waking up on Christmas morning and not having anything from Santa under the tree," said Angelia Peterson, customer support specialist with Long Beach-based ATM manufacturer Triton. "I can't even imagine how that would feel."
Angelia is not alone. She is just one of many Triton employees who generously donated gifts this year as part of the Salvation Army's Christmas Angel Tree program. In total, Triton employees granted the Christmas wishes of 100 underprivileged children from South Mississippi.
On the morning of Friday, December 8th employees from Triton's two locations in Long Beach loaded up an 18-wheeler truck with brightly colored packages of all sizes. The goodies inside ranged from bicycles and electronic games to Bratz dolls and Barbie Dolls.
"I have never been financially able to adopt a child for the holidays, but this year was different. After having such a blessed Christmas last year, my husband and I decided that we would adopt a child each year from now on," said Peterson.
"I spent about $60 each on a boy and a girl, but it's not how much you spend, it's the thought that counts. It's the idea of knowing that some little child will wake up on Christmas morning and be able to get all excited at the thought that Santa came."
"It just makes me feel good," said Amber Barron, marketing projects manager. "And, it was fun. I don't have any children of my own, so I don't normally get to buy toys. I had a great time shopping for Spiderman toys."
"I think it's just wonderful that so many employees were able to be so generous this year, especially after so many of us lost so much during Katrina," said Paul Whaley, who works in accounting at Triton.