MADISON (WKOW) -- As families worldwide prepare for Christmas Eve festivities, one Madison family is especially thankful for the community's generosity.
Ruth Allen is a mother of five, including two adolescent boys. Allen received gifts for her young boys through the Toys for Tots program. She couldn't be happier to have so many presents to give her family.
"It's a good feeling to know that I have something under the tree for them on Christmas morning," said Allen.
Allen calls these donated gifts her "Christmas miracle" -- little reminders that somebody cares.
"You feel a little at ease because some things were taken care of that you didn't have to stress about," she said.
Life hasn't been easy for Allen and her children. She suffers from Type II diabetes and has been homeless on three separate occasions.
But this Christmas, Allen says she has plenty for which to be thankful.
"To have something to surprise the boys and the grandkids, some little cookies or a pie or a little chocolate cake that you picked up from the shelter because things were running a little low... it just feels good," said Allen.
From the looks on her kids' faces, they are happy, too.
"It's great, because not all people can get what they want, and I know my mom tries as hard as she can to get what we want," said Nick Peeler, Allen's 13-year-old son.
Allen is one woman who's thankful for today, and hopeful for tomorrow.
"I'm not rich, but my God, I feel very, very blessed. When someone gives you something, you should always want to be in a position to give back, so there's something for the next person that comes along. So I think that 2010's going to be that year for me, that I'm able to give back. And it feels good," said Allen.