Last updated: December 11. 2013 4:22PM - 1019 Views
By Dennis Rich Democrat Editor drich@civitasmedia.com

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The Sedalia Salvation Army is hoping to close the gap toward its Christmas season fundraising goal of $50,000.

Lt. Jared Collins said the group is at 25 percent of its annual kettle campaign goal, although requests for assistance continues to increase. With a Friday deadline for families looking to participate in the Salvation Army’s toy distribution, Collins said the group remains hopeful that volunteers and donors will help secure a merry Christmas for poor families.

“We definitely see a need,” Collins said. “We have had over 500 families drop off applications this year. It is more than I expected.”

Families wishing to be considered for the toy distribution must apply with the Salvation Army by Friday and need to provide proof of residence, proof of identity and Social Security numbers for all members of the household.

“If they have applied for assistance from us within the last year they don’t need to provide as much information because they are already in our system,” Collins said.

The Salvation Army Christmas campaign runs in conjunction with other programs, such as Community Santa, and care is taken to direct families to a particular outlet so as to avoid duplicating services.

“When you have families that get help from more than one group that can mean that there is another family doing without,” Collins said.

Toy and food distribution will run Monday through Wednesday of next week. Those wishing to apply or for more information may call Cynthia Hopper at 826-5262.

Collins said the group is also looking for volunteers to help man its seven kettle campaign locations around town. Members of the Smith-Cotton High School JROTC program will be out in force on Saturday following the Christmas parade, but Collins said there are still multiple opportunities for individuals or groups willing to give their time as bell ringers.

Collins is also looking for donors willing to contribute toys and other items to the toy distribution and Angel Tree drives, noting that “in the past generous donors have provided cash so we could do shopping to help fill out the gaps.”

Gift items or cash donations may be dropped off at 711 E. Broadway Blvd.

The Salvation Army has also joined up with Walmart stores nationally, including in Sedalia, for the “Fill the Truck” campaign. Shoppers at Walmart who want to contribute may purchase an unopened toy and drop it off in the marked box at the front of the store.

“Everything donated here will go to help kids in need in our area,” Collins said.

For more information on volunteering or making a contribution, call the Salvation Army at 826-1525.

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