Registration open at Salvation Army for Christmas help - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Registration open at Salvation Army for Christmas help

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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

It's barely October, but the Salvation Army is already gearing up for Christmas.

In Valdosta, the group hopes to spread Christmas cheer by helping hundreds more children this year.

They're now signing up families who need help for the holidays.

Dozens of cars lined up outside the Salvation Army today hoping to get assistance this holiday season. The charity has started registering families for the Empty Stocking Fund, a program created to make sure no child in the area goes without a Christmas.

"I think without organizations like this it's hard for people to be able to bring that smile to their kids faces at the end of the year," said applicant Veronica Frink.

Frink says since she lost her job last year she didn't know how she was going to put presents under the tree for her grandchildren. She's thankful the charity stepped in.

"It's a joyful feeling, it's a blessing, everything is done with a blessing," said Frink. 

With increased donations last year and a growing need in the Valdosta area this year, the charity's goal is to provide 1,250 children with presents, and since Monday 500 have already been signed up.

"It's not any child's fault if their parents got laid off or if their parents are full time students, or if their grandparent is having to take care of them, that's not the child's fault," said Monica Nickum, Captain of the Salvation Army.

Nickum says she's seen a lot more applicants this year that have fallen on hard times.

There's no income limit; they take in your income, subtract your expenses and you qualify based on how much money you have left over at the end of the month.

"Don't be ashamed to use programs like this, I mean it's there for your.. I guess just to bring the holiday cheer," said applicant Noeila Rivera.

Last year the Salvation Army helped more than 900 children, and the charity will keep registering families until they reach their 1,250 goal this season.

To find out how you can donate to the Salvation Army or to get information about registering your child for the Empty Stocking Fund call the Valdosta Salvation Army at 229-242-6440.

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