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“Peace in the community:” House of Peace opens its doors to families in need

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MILWAUKEE -- Toys, clothes and food are going to more than 1,500 Milwaukee families to celebrate Christmas this weekend.

Anthony Abdul-Salaam is a single father of four. He said he's excited he will be able to put presents under the tree. Abdul-Salaam's boys are ages 12, 11, 10 and five.

toy1"They say 'is Santa is going to come?' I say, 'Santa is going to be here right on time...trust me,'" Abdul-Salaam said.

Capuchin Community Services "House of Peace" opens its doors to about 1,700 families in December.

"For the holidays, we know it is oftentimes a very challenging time for many families financially, emotionally, even spiritually," said Gerri Sheets-Howard, Capuchin Community Services administrative director.

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They are distributing toys and items for adults too.

In the boutique, each family can pick out a blanket. They also have plenty of winter items -- a large selection of boots, hats and gloves. Families also receive a box of holiday food -- all the fixings for Christmas dinner -- including a ham. Gifts and a meal -- donated to bring peace into homes in Milwaukee over the holidays.

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"When there is peace in families, then there is peace in the community," Sheets-Howard said.

Abdul-Salaam said he's grateful. His boys' mother passed away, so the generosity displayed brings some joy during a difficult time.

toy3"It is hard for me. But I love them so much and I want them to be happy and let them know I am always here for them. They will never have to worry about it at all," Abdul-Salaam said.

Thursday, December 22nd was the final day for the distribution. All of the families had to pre-register for it. But Capuchin Community Services says if there are items left after Thursday night, families are welcome to call ahead for details on how to pick them up.