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Christmas Bureau to take applications this weekend

SALISBURY — Families who need help providing gifts for their children at Christmas can apply for help through the Rowan County Christmas Bureau starting this weekend.

The bureau takes applications on behalf of four programs to streamline the application process and help agencies avoid duplication. The holiday programs for the most part are geared toward children 12 and under. They are:

The Salvation Army provides gifts for children through its Angel Tree program, allowing the public to pick up tags bearing a list of each child’s needs or wishes, which they then purchase and drop off at the Salvation Army.

The Salisbury Post Christmas Happiness Fund gives eligible parents and guardians a voucher to do the gift shopping themselves for their children’s Christmas. Donations from readers of the Salisbury Post fund the vouchers.

Project Santa, based at First Baptist Church of Denton, provides toys for school-aged children, clothing and food to families in need on Christmas Eve.

Operation Santa, Arc of Rowan’s Christmas program, provides gifts for qualifiying families with developmentally disabled children.

Volunteers will take applications at the J.F. Hurley YMCA, 828 Jake Alexander Blvd. West, at these times:

• Friday, Nov. 3, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

• Saturday, Nov. 4, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

• Saturday, Dec. 2, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Volunteers are needed to take applications, manage applicant scheduling and manage the intake process. Individuals interested in volunteering must be at least 18 years old. They should call the United Way office at 704-633-1802 to sign up.

Those who apply for help will need to bring the following kinds of information:

• A current N.C. picture ID or driver’s license,

• If ID is expired, bring a lease and utility bill

• Birth certificate for all children 12 and under

• Current Medicaid card

• Proof of all income/expenses

• Food and Nutrition verification letter

• Unemployment benefits letter

• Custody papers, if person applying is a guardian

The Rowan County United Way coordinates the Christmas Bureau, now in its fourth year of taking applications for several agencies.

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