The Salvation Army is looking for help from the community this holiday season. They are not seeking donations; instead they are looking for families who they can give gifts and a holiday dinner.
Each year the organization works to help make the holidays a little brighter for those who may need assistance.
Today and Thursday are the final days to sign up for the group’s Christmas campaign.
“We work all season to prepare for this program; in fact it is one of our favorite things that we do all year because we truly enjoy being able to help others,” Lt. Jared Collins of the Salvation Army said. “This year though we are having difficulty having families sign up for the program.”
Last year the Salvation Army had 377 requests for assistance, compared to this year’s total of 164.
Collins said he was not sure why the number was down so much from last year, especially when he considers there to still be a need in the community.
“I don’t think there has really been a drastic change in what is happening in our community,” Collins said. “Maybe a lot of people are like me and they wait until the last minute or they are hesitant to ask for help.
“A lot of individuals may feel like they can do it on their own which is admirable, but we want them to know we are willing to help,” Collins added.
The program is designed to help families who can’t afford to purchase toys for their children or who are looking to supplement what they already have.
“Each child will receive two toys,” Collins said. “We also provide a ham and supplies for a family Christmas dinner.”
Families who do not have children are still eligible to apply for the dinners.
Last year the Salvation Army in Sedalia provided food for 1,047 individuals at Christmas.
Individuals who would like to apply for Christmas assistance through the Salvation Army may call or come by today from 1 to 5 p.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday.
“I know that may seem like an early deadline, “ Collins said, “… but we start preparing all of the tables this Saturday and the distribution begins on Monday the 14th, so we have to know the number of individuals we will serve.
“We have tons of volunteers who are ready to help distribute the items, and Francis Summers and Julie Kesterson have done an incredible job again this year with the food and toy donations,” Collins added. “We will distribute the toys this season and we always have a need for food that we use to serve in our lunch program or when people need assistance throughout the year but we would really like to help families at the holidays if we can.”
Those wishing to apply for Christmas assistance should call the Salvation Army at 826-1525 or visit in person at 1200 E. Broadway Blvd.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484