Salvation Army serving over 900 families this Christmas

The Salvation Army just wrapped up taking their family Christmas aid applications for 2016 on November 1st and organizers are pleased with the final count.

Approximately 980 Families in St. Joseph County will receive financial assistance from The Salvation Army at Christmas this year. This is an increase of more than 15% from 2015.

“It turned out to be our busiest day. There was a line of people when the doors closed this afternoon,” said Major Angela Wandling.

Tuesday was the eighth and final day for families to apply for food, clothes and other necessities this Christmas. And while organizers are pleased with the success in numbers, they don’t forget why most families are there.

“It can be very heartbreaking to hear how much some of these families are struggling to make ends meet and provide a meaningful experience for their families. I think we have been able to provide hope for them,” said Wandling.

Now, it’s on to the next step, the best spot for each applicant.

“Our staff now has to place all of these families into the various programs including Angel Tree, Adopt-A-Family and Toys for Tots,” said Wandling.

But she says they can’t do it without help.

“We also rely heavily on volunteers to partner with us to make this huge operation work. Without them it really would not be possible to make it all happen. We are still looking for more volunteers,” said Wandling. You can volunteer by clicking here.

What comes next in their line of giving back? More family involvement.

“Adopt-a-family is a great way to get the community involved in serving families. Families are identified for this particular program and then adopted out to business, families, and groups in the community.

Those sign-ups began Tuesday. And if you thought that’s where the Salvation Army Kroc Center stopped, guess again. The Kettle Kick-Off is Friday, November 4th at University Park Mall. This is part of the mall’s “Santa’s Rockin Arrival" which lasts from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“We hope this will raise awareness and excitement in the community. Experiencing a Salvation Christmas is like no other. Many families have made this a part of their tradition. We will announce our goal and ways for the community to get involved at the kick-off event,” said Wandling.

And while they have so much planned at the Kroc Center, Wandling says it’s only the beginning.

“It is the end of the application process, but the beginning of creating data basis, placing families in one of our Christmas Programs, sorting toys and ringing bells,” said Wandling.

For more information, click here or you can call the Kroc Center at 574-233-9471.

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