From a child in need to an officer giving back: Salvation Army major shares her story

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 7:51 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s almost time for our Hope for the Holidays drive-thru bash! There will be officers from the Salvation Army at 13abc, including one who has an inspirational story of her own.

Major Gayle Miga is in the Toledo area for just nine weeks, helping out with our Hope for the Holidays toy drive and other Christmas festivities. The major says she decided to join the Salvation Army after her family received help when she was a girl.

“As a kid, I went to the Salvation Army on and off. Then one Christmas my mom was very ill, and the Salvation Army showed up at our door with toys for us for Christmas,” said Major Miga.

She was just seven years old at the time.

“It was a doll, and I don’t remember the food they gave us. My brother was four years younger, and I don’t really remember what he got but I know that it really made a difference for us,” said the major.

She might not have realized it at the time, but Major Miga said this act of kindness had a major impact on her life.

“My mom had told me that we wouldn’t be getting anything for Christmas. So when the knock came at the door and there was an Army officer standing there and they had a wrapped Christmas present for each of us, I was thrilled,” said Major Miga. “I didn’t understand it back then but as I got older I’ve always remembered that someone that I didn’t even know had helped me.”

The major grew up and was eventually led to the organization that made such a difference in her childhood.

“As I got older I wasn’t following the Salvation Army or what they believe in, but I wanted to be a better person,” said Major Miga. “I wanted to be that person that could give hope and memories to someone else as I got older.”

And she said she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I think every day in the Salvation Army is like Christmas because you never know what’s going to happen or what you’re going to get,” said Major Miga. “So being a part of Christmas, you’re dealing with children but also adults, and we help them make memories.”

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