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Salvation Army helps with gifts, food

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Second in a series

By Elizabeth Cook

ecook@salisburypost.com

Majors David and Cherry Craddock are new to Salisbury, but they have a wealth of experience with helping families find cheer at Christmas.

Now commanders of the Salvation Army of Rowan County, they have spent 35 years serving in the agency at different locations around the country.

That included serving the community of Gulfport, Miss., in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. Cherry says 26,000 families received Christmas assistance from the Salvation Army in Gulfport that year, picking up gifts and groceries in a drive-thru set up for the occasion.

The numbers won’t be that high in Rowan County this year, but they’re just as important. Salvation Army bells will begin ringing for the red-kettle campaign on the weekend of Nov. 7 — less than two weeks away. That’s the same day the Rowan County Christmas Bureau will start taking applications from people who seek Christmas assistance from the Salvation Army or one of the four other programs participating in the bureau this year.

Applications for Rowan County families seeking assistance will be taken at the Hurley Family YMCA, 828 Jake Alexander Blvd. W., on these dates:

Friday, Nov. 7 — 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 8 — 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 6 — 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Salvation Army will set up Angel Trees at businesses around the community in the coming weeks. Each of the angels displayed on the trees bears information about a child in need. Any individual, church, school, civic group or business can take an angel, buy a gift or gifts requested by the child. The Salvation Army distributes the gifts to the families and provides food as well. The angel tags include the name, age, gender and gift request of the child. The age of children who can receive gifts through Angel Tree is infant through 12.

No dollar amount is set for the gifts. “That’s up to the donor,” Cherry says.

The program represents the Salvation Army’s belief that every child should experience the excitement of opening up a present on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, despite whatever circumstances they’re in.

The Angel Tree program started in 1979 in Lynchburg, Va. That inaugural year, the Angel Tree helped make Christmas brighter for 462 children. Now nearly a million children a year benefit from the program across the country every year.

To make an online donation to the Salvation Army, go to http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/christmas-assistance. For more information, contact the Salvation Army at 704-636-6491.

Other agencies participating in the Christmas Bureau application process are the Salisbury Post’s Christmas Happiness Fund; Toys for Tots; Project Santa, a program of First Baptist Church in Denton; and Arc of Rowan’s Operation Santa.

Applications for Rowan County families seeking assistance for all the programs will be taken at the Hurley Family YMCA, 828 Jake Alexander Blvd. W., on these dates:

Friday, Nov. 7 — 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 8 — 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 6 — 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

People applying for help should bring:

• ID/Drivers License

• W-7 for each member of household

• If ID is expired, need lease & utility bill

• Medicaid card

• Birth certificates for children 12 & under

• Proof of all income and expenses

• Unemployment

• Custody papers, if guardian

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