SALEM - Low income families in the Salem, Leetonia, Washingtonville and Columbiana areas looking for help at Christmas can begin signing up next week at the Salem Salvation Army.
Applications for Christmas assistance will be taken at the Salvation Army headquarters , 1249 N. Ellsworth Ave., from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 12, 15 and 19 and from 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 18.
The Christmas assistance program covers families in the zip codes of 44460, 44408, 44431 and 44490.
"We're just trying to get the word out," Lt. Kristin Price said.
Last year the Salvation Army in Salem assisted almost 700 children and their families with food, clothing and toys for the holiday.
"It's one of our biggest programs we do every year," she said.
Applicants need to bring the following items with them for the application process:
- a current photo identification (driver's license, Ohio ID or Human services ID)
- proof of all children and adults in the household (birth certificates, medical cards, or custody papers required)
- picture ID for all other adults in the household
- proof of income (pay stubs from the last 30 days, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services printouts, child support papers, SSI/SSD letters, workers' comp paperwork, rent subsidy/utility allowance stubs, and any other income verification)
- proof of all monthly bills (lease/rent agreements, utilities, car payment, insurances, child care, etc.).
Applicants are also told they can only register once for Christmas help with one agency. If they sign up with another agency for assistance at Christmas, the Salvation Army won't be able to assist them.
Families receive a Christmas food box with turkey and all the fixings, milk and bread, clothing consisting of a new outfit for each child up to eighth grade and toys for each child up to eighth grade. Families with just adults can receive food assistance.
Price said they receive donations from the community, from individuals, community groups and businesses, who contribute to the cause to help families have a nice Christmas. Last year she said a lot of individuals and businesses helped out, including the Kent State University nursing program and St. Mary's Alzheimer's Center. Groups can also adopt a family or a adopt a child and buy their gifts.
She said the back-to-school program by Church Women United experienced an increase this fall, so she's expecting a possible increase in the number of Christmas applications.
The annual kettle campaign begins Nov. 1, with a kickoff planned for Nov. 3. Anyone wanting to donate to either the kettle campaign or the Christmas assistance program can contact the Salvation Army at 330-332-5624.