A local woman, who has turned her life around, says she understand the true meaning of Christmas.
Amanda Steavens says she became homeless after a drug problem and came to the Salvation Army because she knew she needed help. She has been clean for three months now and says her life has changed for the better. She and the other residents of the Salvation Army shelter spent Christmas together and Amanda says it is a holiday all about giving.
"It is not about receiving anything, not at all, it is about what you can give in your heart. Peace, serenity, love, joy, happiness and I have got a piece of that today," says Steavens.
She says the other residents and people who work for the Salvation Army are her family. So this morning they all got together for a special surprise for the children.
"Santa Claus came and it was just like, I couldn't watch it was just too many memories, but the kids had a great time. They opened gifts and they were just having a ball out there in the lobby this morning, it was just wonderful," tells Steavens.
Steavens even had two gifts under the tree from workers at the Salvation Army. She says the Salvation Army does outstanding work for the community all year round, such as the food pantries and the angel tree toy giveaway. Steavens says she is close to 90 day limit to stay at the Salvation Army, but she is very hopeful for the future.
"I'm scared, I am getting ready to have to move from here and still don't really know where I am going to go, but I know god has something in store for me and I think this might be the beginning," says Steavens.
She says the holidays can be tough because she can't spend it with her children, but she cherishes her Christmas memories with her Salvation Army family.