Army offers help

Published 12:56 am Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Salvation Army’s Washington corps is accepting applications for assistance during the upcoming Christmas season.

Applications will be accepted through Thursday. All applicants must bring specific items with them when they apply for assistance at the Salvation Army offices at 112 E. Seventh St., Washington. Applicants may file applications from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. today and Thursday.

The required items follow:

  • Photo ID for the head of the household.
  • Birth certificates or printouts from the Department of Social Services for all children under age 12.
  • Proof of all income during October.
  • Proof of expenses paid during October.
  • Proof of residency (lease, rental agreement or notorized letter from landlord).

Each applicant must have all of the required items for his or her application to be accepted.

“Typically, every year we take applications to help families that are less fortunate for Christmas,” said Lt. Chris Lyles, commander of The Salvation Army’s Washington corps. “This year, we’re looking to continue helping those families that need us in the community, but want to place a special emphasis on the families that were greatly impacted by Hurricane Irene. A lot of those families who have lost everything at this point have never had to come to us for assistance. We’re seeing that on a day-to-day basis in our office for other types of assistance as well, but we wanted to place an emphasis on that with Christmas this year. We know things are already tight for those families that are trying to replace (things) and get back on their feet. So, we wanted to make sure we can reach out to those families that need us and will need that additional help for Christmas, particularly this year because it might only be a one-time thing this year.”

Lyles said The Salvation Army wants to make sure such families are aware of the services it offers and its Christmas-assistance programs.

To help provide the funding for those programs, the organization’s Red Kettle drive begins Nov. 18, Lyles said. Its Angel Tree program begins Nov. 22, he added.

The goal for this year’s Red Kettle drive is $50,000, Lyles said.

Under the Angel Tree program, the names of needy children (and sometimes senior citizens) are placed on Christmas trees in shopping centers, churches and similar sites. A person selects one of the tags, buys a gift or gifts appropriate for the person described on the tag and takes the gift or gifts to the Angel Tree.

Sometimes, several Angel Tree gifts are collected for distribution to an entire family.

There’s another program that has a strong local tradition.

“We’ll still provide the (newspaper) with list of cases like we have in the past,” Lyles said.

Under the Christmas Cheer program, a list of needy families will appear daily in the Washington Daily News for a specific period of time. Anyone wishing to “adopt” one of those families may do so by contacting The Salvation Army’s Washington corps by visiting its offices or by making a donation to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 877, Washington, NC, 27889. Anyone sending a contribution should put the case number for the family on the check. The number should appear on the check exactly as listed in the newspaper.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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