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Christmas Bureau busy with applicants on first day

It’s never too early to start planning for the holidays, especially if money’s tight.

Coordinated by the Rowan County United Way, the Christmas Bureau is now taking applications for those who need help during the holiday season.

Bob Lippard, executive director of the United Way, said they were busy with applicants in the morning.

At around 5:00 p.m., the side parking lot was full of cars and every volunteer inside the gym was helping an applicant.

Community members can apply to different programs that help provide gifts for children 12 and younger, including the Salvation Army Angel Tree, the Salisbury Post Christmas Happiness Fund, Toys for Tots, Project Santa and Arc of Rowan’s Operation Santa.

LaVaughn Beaver, a volunteer for the past three years, said the program is convenient because it is a one-stop shop for people.

“It keeps the people who are applying from going to all different places to try to get help,” she said.

Community members can stop by the Hurley YMCA at 828 Jake Alexander Blvd. W until 2 p.m. today, or they can go on Saturday Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Families may be approved to receive food, clothing, toys or vouchers for their children from the different agencies involved. The items will be distributed in December.

Lippard and Beaver said it is important that applicants bring all of the required paperwork and documents so that they do not have to go back home to get them.

Beaver also said because of the good amount of volunteers helping out, the whole process will take about 20 minutes.

“We have plenty of tables and plenty of help, so when the flow comes there’s usually not a big line,” Beaver said.

To apply, the following documents are needed:

  • ID/drivers license
  • W-7 for each member of the household
  • If ID is expired, lease and utility bill
  • Medicaid card
  • Birth certificates for children 12 and under
  • Proof of all income and expenses
  • Unemployment
  • Custody papers, if guardian

Although the United Way office is closed over the weekend, Jackie Harris, resource development and marketing director of the United Way, said families who want to apply can call the office if they have any questions about what they need to bring with them to the YMCA. The United Way office’s phone number is 704-633-1802.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

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