RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Because of the tough economy-- more people are turning to the Salvation Army for help this Christmas. The organization offers assistance through programs like Angel Tree.
On a beautiful fall day like today, it's hard to believe, but Christmas really is just around the corner, and no one knows that better than the Salvation Army which is in the middle of signing people up for their Angel Tree program
These familiar bells aren't ringing quite yet, but you'll hear them soon. Folks can sign up through the end of this month for Christmas assistance, a message the Salvation Army wants to get out. About 40 percent of those signing up right now are new clients, leading program officials to believe there are others out there who might not realize the deadline is fast approaching.
"There are so many people who are hurting, who are laid off, who might not have a job at this moment, who might say, well let me see if I can get it together--no--we want to help you and see if we can help you with Christmas and so we just need them to come in our doors," said Captain Dawn Worthy, Richmond Salvation Army.
To sign up you need your id, social security card, or if you know your number- birth certificate. Also bring proof of income and expenses. A case worker will take your information in about 15 minutes. Salvation Army officials hope people won't let their pride stand in the way.
"Sometimes there a stigma and you feel like no I don't want to go in for assistance, but there is no shame in this, but we want them to know that this is a comfortable process, we have Christmas music playing, we have Christmas trees and things to put them in the spirit already," said Worthy.
Karen Gage is already in that holiday spirit. She has volunteered with the Angel Tree program from nearly a decade through her job with Capital One.
"My mantra is always it's better to give than to receive and I would never want any family or child to feel bad about not having a Christmas morning, that I experienced my whole life," said Karen.
The Salvation Army and program sponsors want to reiterate that they are committed to helping everyone who comes through their doors.
More details now if you are interested in signing up for help through the Salvation Army. Registration continues the rest of this week at the area command center located at 2 West Grace Street. Then next week is your last chance to register and you can do that at the Salvation Army Southside location at 5327 Orcutt Lane. Registration is from 9 to 4.