Salvation Army prepares to help thousands this holiday season

MGN

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The holidays are filled with joy and excitement. From twinkling lights to visits with Santa himself. But for some families, the season only brings stress and worry.

"We do have sad stories of children waking up on Christmas morning with nothing there," Major Susan Kelly, Salvation Army, said. "We don't ever want to see that happen."

Every year, the organization works to make sure deserving families have a Christmas.

"It's our last opportunity to offer to the community the chance for assistance for toys at Christmastime and also Christmas dinner," Major Susan Kelly said.

Wednesday, anyone can come to the Salvation Army headquarters at 620 Erie Street in Toledo to apply. Applications will be taken from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. and then again from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m..

Applicants must bring a picture ID for all adults, proof of income and address and either birth certificates, report cards or custody papers that show the birth date for every child in the home.

Last year, more than 8,000 people got holiday help and already, there are 1,800 families on the list.

"It's a daunting task," Major Scott Kelly, Salvation Army, said. "We get very busy, but we're thankful to get the opportunity to receive that kind of support from the community."

Donation drives like 13abc's Hope for the Holidays and the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign go a long way for the cause. In fact, Major Scott Kelly says they have bell ringers at 38 different locations and that alone helps to balance the budget and, more importantly, help those who need it most.

"We can't do what we do without the support of people who put their spare change in the kettle," he said. "We say change goes in and change comes out because it makes a difference in peoples lives."