Salvation Army gears up for holiday season - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Salvation Army gears up for holiday season

October 26, 2007

Albany--The holiday season is right around the corner, and it's usually a fun and exciting time for many folks.  However, for some, it can be a difficult time for families struggling financially--that's where the Salvation Army steps in.

As the temperatures gets cooler, expect the Salvation Army to get busier.  "Right now we can hold about 40 to 42 people in our shelter."  And Captain Douglas McClure says space is filling up fast.

"We look probably to be full probably around mid-November through January and February," he says.  To prepare for the busy holiday season, McClure already has a plan in action.

"We're definitely going to increase the amount of food we're carrying. We're going to increase the number of hot meals we're providing.  If there are some extreme weather situations, we do have some cots we can put on the floor, and increase the bed space," he says.

This year, the Salvation Army is also teaming up once again with the US Marine Corp Reserves for Toys for Tots.   "I think last year we serviced well over to 800 to 1,000 families," he says.

Families in need can sign their families up for the program here at the Salvation Army. "We start taking applications next week starting October 29th and for the next two weeks, Monday through Friday 9 AM to 2 PM," he says.

Starting November 16th, the Salvation will kick off its popular kettle drive. "People don't realize that's our only major fundraiser that we do throughout the year," he says. Last year, the Salvation Army raised well over $100,000 dollars.

And as the holiday season approaches, McClure is asking everyone to support their efforts to continue helping others who can't fully help themselves.  "We want to do the most good with what you give us," he says.

The Salvation Army also expects to see an increase in its utility assistance program. For families who are struggling to pay their utility bills, you can call the Salvation Army at 435-1428.

The Salvation Army is always in need of your donations. They're especially in need of unwrapped toys, non-perishable food items, and clothing. To donate, you can drop those items off at the Salvation Army located on 304 West Second Avenue.

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