The holidays are fast approaching and for many families, this time of year can be a major financial strain, but the local Salvation Army has a program that can help.
the Salvation Army's Christmas assistance program is designed to help all families have a happy holiday. We met with the program coordinators today to learn more about what resources are available.
Major Tom Peterson shows off the Salvation Army's store of food for the needy. He says the agency is now taking applications for families who need extra help through the holidays.
"We determine their income to qualify and how much food, toys they need," Peterson says.
Tina Atkinson, a foster parent of five children, says she appreciates the extra help, especially during Christmas time.
"I think it's wonderful. It's difficult to keep up with people buying gifts, it's expensive . . . it makes kids feel special, cause it's a toy and its theirs and that's very important," Atkinson says.
And during the cold winter months, the Salvation Army store also provides winter coats, free of charge to adults and children. "We make sure no one is without cold weather clothes," says Peterson.
Some girls each received a free coat today after the major spotted them walking outside in just their t-shirts.
"It's cold and it's winter. He doesn't want us to get sick," says one of the girls.
And if you're in a position to help this year, the Major says a monetary donation, warm clothes, and children's toys are high on the list for the needy.
To apply for the program, go to the Salvation Army office on Sutro and Oddie. They accept applications from 9:30 to 11:00 and 1:00 to 2:30, Monday through Friday.
The deadline to apply is December 13th - the food and toys will be distributed a few days before Christmas.
That's a good resource to have during the holidays.