HIGHLAND - The Salvation Army is in full swing this season to help provide families with an extra bit of holiday cheer.

Hundreds of needy families flocked to the San Bernardino Salvation Army site at 2626 E. Pacific St. in Highland on Thursday to receive food and toys they might otherwise not have during the Christmas season.

"It's an opportunity to show the love of God to the community and help them as much as possible," said Maj. Steve Ball, director of the San Bernardino corps.

More than 600 families are expected to be served during the two-day event, which will continue today.

Each family will be given a Christmas gift basket filled with canned goods, a Stater Bros. gift certificate and toy donations from the "Christmas Giving Tree" program.

After singing carols and hearing a gospel message on the Christmas story, San Bernardino resident Loami Castro and her family walked out of the Salvation Army site with a smile on her face as she carried her bag of gifts and box of food to her car.

"It's a great help," Castro said. "Now my family will have toys for Christmas and they're going to be really happy."

rachel.luna@inlandnewspapers.com, 909-521-8123, twitter.com/Rache1Luna