TERRE HAUTE , INDIANA (Terre Haute Tribune Star) - Vigo County residents needing a helping hand during the holidays can apply starting today for a variety of programs at the Salvation Army.
From 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for the next two weeks, families can sign up for holiday assistance through The Salvation Army, 234 S. Eighth St. The final day applications will be accepted is Nov. 13.
The Christmas holiday programs are the Tribune-Star Food Baskets, Toys for Tots for children up to age 12, Christmas With Police (formerly known as Shop With A Cop), Adopt-A-Family and Bikes for Tykes.
Also, the Light House Mission will have a representative there to take applications for Thanksgiving meal assistance only.
The Salvation Army has become a kind of clearinghouse for Christmas charity efforts in the community, explained social services director Cathy White.
With one agency organizing the programs, confusion and duplication of services is reduced, White said. There are other groups in the community, such as churches and Covenant Cooperative Ministries, which offer other holiday assistance. But applicants are restricted to receiving assistance from only one agency, White said.
Once the applications are received, they will be processed to match the needs and the services available.
“It is not first-come, first-served,” White said. “Sometimes, it’s age-based, such as Toys for Tots or Christmas With Police, and they can’t do some of the programs two years in a row.”
One of the goals for this year is to add a gift for teenagers in families where the younger children are receiving toys. In the past, gifts had been limited to children up to age 12.
The Adopt-A-Family program provides a whole Christmas to a family, she explained, by sending not only gifts but also a meal. Therefore, families who are “adopted” will not be eligible for the toys or food basket programs because those needs already will have been addressed.
Last year, The Salvation Army assisted more than 1,400 families through the giving programs, but with the state of the economy during the past year, applications are expected to increase.
“I think it will be a lot worse this year for families,” White said. “We have already seen that this year in the food pantry.”
Those interested in applying for the holiday programs should bring the following information with them on the day they apply:
• A photo identification for the person filling out the application.
• Social Security cards for everyone listed on the application.
• Birth certificates or Medicaid cards for children age 18 and younger whose names are on the application.
• Proof of residence in Vigo County. That can be a current bill with the home address on it.
• Proof of income for the past 30 days. That could be check stubs, a bank statement, an income statement from an employer, an award letter, or another proof of income.
Details about the delivery of holiday items will be provided to the applicants who are approved for assistance.
Now, in addition to accepting applications for assistance, The Salvation Army also welcomes donations to their programs to help area families.
Anyone wanting to donate to a Salvation Army program can call (812) 232-4081. The fundraising goal for this holiday season is $137,000. While monetary donations are always welcome, the organization will also accept new and gently-used toys to have on hand to assist those who missed the application process.
And the public is reminded that the bell-ringer kettle campaign during the holidays collects money to support Salvation Army programs. Bell ringing begins with a kick-off event at 1 p.m. Nov. 19 at Baesler’s Market.
Copyright 2014 Terre Haute Tribune Star
Updated 1876 days ago Article ID# 163871