CHICAGO (CBS) — The Salvation Army’s Norridge Corps Community Center offers a variety of services and programs to help those in need in the community, one of which is the food pantry.

WBBM’s Mike Krauser has just one example of someone who reached out to the Salvation Army at a very tough point in her life and received a helping hand.

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A little more than a year ago, Jennifer Pagan’s husband died suddenly, leaving her on her own with her own medical issues and the sole caregiver of their four-month-old baby. She is unable to access social security survivor benefits for her daughter and has no family support system available.

“I had a really hard time. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and I was still working full time and had a little baby. I had nowhere to go and nobody to help me,” Pagan said.

But then a friend referred her to The Salvation Army Norridge Corps Community Center.

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“I went to the Salvation Army and they gave me food and really helped me out,” Pagan said.

She is working as a waitress, has her own apartment, but the money coming in is not enough for rent, utilities, daycare, and food. Pagan signed up for the Salvation Army’s monthly food pantry, which helps with groceries, and the Christmas Assistance program, which will provide gifts for her young daughter and a Christmas dinner box.

“The people at the Salvation Army, they’re angels,” Pagan said. “The way they helped me, it’s like angels came into my life.”

She said with the Salvation Army’s help she is able to stretch her paycheck to pay rent and utilities. And without the Christmas Assistance program, she was not sure if she would have been able to provide gifts for her daughter.

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Pagan said she only hopes to give back one day.