• 68°

Area families apply for Christmas assistance through Christmas Bureau

By Shavonne Walker
shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Ray and Nicole Miller have a big family. While they are living paycheck-to-paycheck, providing Christmas presents for their six children can be difficult.

The Millers signed up for the Rowan County Christmas Bureau on Friday to determine which local program they may able to receive holiday assistance from for their children.

The Rowan County Christmas Bureau, which is coordinated by Rowan County United Way, handles the sign-up process to determine if families are eligible to receive assistance from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, Salisbury Post’s Christmas Happiness Fund and the Santa Project in Denton.

The Salvation Army and its volunteers will also distribute the Christmas gifts.

The couple’s children are 4, 6, 8, 11, 14 and 18. The older children aren’t eligible for the programs, but it takes a weight off their shoulders to be able to have presents provided for four of their children.

Children 12 and under are eligible for the programs.

“It’s a big relief really. It helps us out a lot,” Ray said.

Nicole said being able to sign up for the programs means they only have to provide Christmas gifts for two of their children. She said they’ve been able to apply for three years now.

Nicole said it was also amazing that volunteers take time out to walk them through the application process.

“We’ve been blessed. We can’t complain,” Ray said.

Registration on Friday and Saturday was at the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA, 828 W. Jake Alexander Blvd. The final date to sign up is Oct. 26. from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Applicants are required to bring the following:

• A driver’s license or other ID.

• A current Medicaid card.

• Birth certificates for children 12 and younger.

• Custody papers, if children live with a guardian.

• A Food and Nutrition verification letter.

• If an ID is expired, a recent lease and utility bill.

• Proof of all income and expenses.

• An unemployment benefits letter.

Also at Friday sign ups was Clarissa Elias, who said her boyfriend is the only one working right now. By receiving assistance, they are able to have presents for their almost 2-year-old.

“I’m very thankful for them helping us with Christmas,” Elias said.

She learned about the program from her boyfriend’s mother.

Christina Turner on Friday said she also lives paycheck-to-paycheck. She saved some money for Christmas, but had to spend it on recent car repairs.

She has two children, but her oldest is 13 and, therefore, not eligible for any of the programs.

Turner said that what she makes goes toward her bills and there’s little left over.

She said the program will help with the Christmas that she’s not able to provide.

“My fear is they wake up with nothing,” she said.

Turner said she was also able to receive assistance from the program last year.

Rowan County United Way Executive Director Jenny Lee on Friday said there were still two days to apply, one of which was Saturday. She said it’s essential that people bring all of their reporting documents so that they don’t have to leave.

Lee said she’s grateful for the donors who contribute to the Christmas Happiness Fund and the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree to provide for families who may be going through a financial crisis.

She’s also thankful for the partners who help make it all happen — Smart Start Rowan, the YMCA, the Salisbury Post, and Project Santa, which also benefits residents in the East Rowan area.

She said it’s important for families not to see the program as a handout, but a hand up.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

Comments

BREAKING NEWS

Two dead bodies found in home on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Man arrested in Kannapolis plotted to kill Biden, found with guns, explosive material, court documents state

Local

Flagger clipped by vehicle, taken to hospital with minor injuries

Coronavirus

County finishes week with five deaths, one of 36 to receive letter from state health officials

Business

Salisbury Newsmedia reaches agreement to sell Innes Street building; Post to remain tenant

Crime

Blotter: Teens attempt to break into Gerry Wood Auto Group

Crime

Man faces arson charges for Kannapolis camper fire

Business

New tenant hopes to lease former K&W Cafeteria building

Nation/World

Trump, Biden go after each other on coronavirus, taxes

Coronavirus

County adds three more COVID-19 deaths to total

Coronavirus

Health department launches billboard campaign to encourage mask wearing, flu vaccination

BREAKING NEWS

Appeals court reverses Salisbury man’s 2018 hit, run conviction

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man served with warrant, charged with cocaine possession

Elections

GOP to high court: Move up North Carolina absentee deadline

Education

Friends of Rowan Public Library to hold annual book sale

Local

Pastoral appreciation event to celebrate Rev. Nilous Avery

Crime

Kannapolis man faces felony charges for injuring officers, fleeing traffic stop

Local

Buck Steam Station’s new recycling unit now processing coal ash

Elections

Election 2020: Ford, Ellis talk racial injustice issues; tout qualifications for Senate race

Business

Halfway point: United Way announces 50% progress toward fundraising goal

News

City moves forward with loan program for women, minority business owners

Education

Science, religion collide for annual Hood Theological Seminary fall conference

News

Sheriff’s Office accepts Shop with a Cop applications

Education

North Hills seniors are leaving their marks