Salvation Army seeks donations, volunteers for holiday season
With the rapidly approaching holiday season, The Salvation Army is reaching out to the community for the help it needs to assist needy families.
The organization is in imminent need of turkeys and all the trimmings for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to fill food boxes for 125 needy families so they can prepare their holiday meals.
Donations for the boxes of turkeys as well as such nonperishable foods as rice, beans, flour, sugar, tortillas, oil, canned vegetables and fruits and dry milk can be dropped off at the The Salvation Army Thrift Store, 600 W. Catalina Drive.
The goal is to deliver the boxes by Nov. 16 so the families have time to prepare their Thanksgiving meals, said Terre Munk, volunteer and special events coordinator for The Salvation Army.
In the past, the agency has hosted a community holiday dinner but now provides the food boxes for families so they can prepare their own meals in the comfort of their homes, she said.
Families to receive the boxes will be chosen through the screening process for people who turn to The Salvation Army for assistance for Christmas.
That screening process will begin Monday, Munk said. Registration will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and Oct. 22-26 at the agency's administrative office inside the thrift store. Those applying will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. They're asked to bring proof of identification, address, employment, children's names and birth dates.
Last year, The Salvation Army provided Christmas assistance for 1,600 families, Munk said. That included more than 6,000 children.
This year, that number is expected to be even higher.
“Unfortunately, the need is increasing,” Munk said. “We're seeing more people seeking help.”
She continued: “But we're very blessed. The people in Yuma are incredibly generous in helping The Salvation Army. We couldn't do what we do without the volunteers and donors.”
Another way people can help is by volunteering to be bell ringers for this year's Red Kettle drive that kicks off with festivities from 3 to 8 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Yuma Palms Regional Center. The event will include performances by local groups and lighting of the Angel Tree that will have tags with the Christmas wishes of needy children that people can take and shop for.
Not only is she reaching out to individuals and youth or service organizations to volunteer to help ring bells to attract donations, Munk also encourages them to have fun with it. They can dress up in Santa and elf hats, sing and otherwise enjoy themselves.
Munk said the Red Kettle drive is a major fundraiser each year for the agency. The goal this year is to raise $125,000.
The money helps fund the agency's seasonal and year-round family assistance programs, she said. “Everything given locally stays in Yuma to help families here in need.”
Call 783-0181 for more information about donating or volunteering or about the screening for Christmas assistance.