But the assistance offered by the Salvation Army was "very important" to the couple's ability to recover from the tornado, Whittenback said, and they decided three or four years ago to pay it forward by becoming bell-ringers for the organization's red kettle campaign.
"This is my 38th Christmas and actually, it's my last Christmas as an active Salvation army officer", Green said.
The Salvation Army on 7th Street opened their doors to many like Dowlearn, who might be hungry and looking for a warm place to stay.
In fact, most anyone who's served at least one Christmas tour with The Salvation Army will tell you a similar story about their most freaky bucket beauty. "If you set so much in your budget for donations, if you only have so much to go around, that's understandable".
Santiago said each year the Salvation Army helps around 200 families during the holidays.
Despite the somewhat slower year, Adkins said there's always great enthusiasm for the Red Kettle campaign.
The festive spirit was alive and well in the city as hundreds of people sat down to share Christmas lunch together.
It's hard to say who enjoyed the Christmas party more - the invited guests or the volunteers. "So that's a big chunk of money that we're missing".
"Since I was about 14 years old", Russell says as she counts.
"And the volunteers stuck around at the end to make sure we got everything cleaned up at the end", said Major Hinzman.
"We get a lot of foreign currency. I think previous year we ended around 32 percent of all the shifts were filled by volunteers so that leaves a big gap".
"There's a real dedication by a certain percentage of people who just give regularly", Bell Ringer Danny Morrow said.
Joshua Iorfida-Bonneville, a client at the treatment centre at Harbour Light, said he chose to volunteer at the Christmas meal as part of the process for his treatment. "Last year at this time we were at 85 percent".
Though the final total won't be in until the first week of January, the count is already just shy of $600,000 as of Christmas Eve, said Wise.
The support came in other ways, too. They just want to help make you better.