TULSA, Okla. — When you drop money into a Salvation Army Red Kettle, you support those suffering in our community. Families like the Langdons. Zach, Torri, and their three-year-old twins faced homelessness, poverty, and addiction not so long ago.
"About this time about two years ago, my wife and I were living in tents in the backyard over the west side. We were going through a really rough patch," says Zachary Langdon.
"We were on drugs pretty bad. When I found out that we were going to be homeless, I gave the kids to Zach's Dad for three or four months in Kentucky to protect them," adds Zach's wife, Torri.
Desperate to turn their life around, Torri and Zach decided to get clean, get their kids back, and get help.
"We needed to do something right; we needed to do something new," says Zach.
The Salvation Army's Pathway of Hope gave the Langdons the fresh start they needed. The program provides homeless families a furnished apartment, weekly case management, and job and life skills training.
"It's just a phenomenal opportunity for families that are down in their luck to find a stable environment where they can focus and get some balance and just breathe and figure out what they want to do," says Kelley Maricle, a counselor with the Pathway of Hope.
Torri and the twins arrived in the program first, moving in last Thanksgiving. Zach completed rehab and reunited with his family a month later, on Christmas eve.
"It was a great Thanksgiving; really, I couldn't ask for anything more. Then Zach got to be my Christmas present," says Torri.
Since then, the Langdon family says the Salvation Army has become their saving grace.
Zach adds, "It's definitely been a blessing to have the family stable, no chaos, peaceful. Not worrying about what are we going to do the next day."
"I don't even think about drugs. My family is what I think about, and it's been a great time, and they mean the world to me," says Torri.
Through Pathway of Hope, the family keeps moving forward. The twins now go to school, and both parents work. Torri dishes meals in the Center of Hope kitchen, and Zach's a Red Kettle bell ringer with quite a testimony.
"The Salvation Army has given me a second opportunity at life, really," he says.
This once homeless family is now filling this temporary home with happy memories and dreaming of building their own home one day.
"We are hoping to get some land and a house. More than anything, I just hope that our future's bright,' says Torri.
The Pathway of Hope houses around a dozen homeless families. The program is one of many that benefits from Red Kettle donations given at Christmas. You can donate those kettles through Christmas Eve.
You can also donate online here.
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