Helping those in need during the holidays

Dec. 08, 2012 @ 05:02 AM

This week, we Take 5 by looking at five local opportunities to help those in need for Christmas.

Salvation Army “JOY” Program Angels

There are still more than 200 “Joy for Others at Yuletide” angels not adopted for this Christmas. The Salvation Army is seeking individuals, churches and businesses to “adopt” these angels — children up to age 12 — who would otherwise not receive gifts at Christmas. Applications from families in need who are seeking to be a part of the JOY program have been approved; the Army recommends spending about $100 per child by purchasing clothing items (a list of needs and sizes are provided) and gifts (each child has a “wish list”). The gifts will be collected by Army volunteers at the National Guard Armory on Dec. 18-19.

Last year, more than 700 children were helped, but a number of angels weren't adopted.

If you're not interested in adopting a child, the Army is collecting toys that will be used in the JOY program.

To adopt a child or several children, or to find out about toy barrel locations, contact Sgt. Barbara Hertzog at the Salvation Army offices by calling (919) 718-1717

Salvation Army Red Kettle Program

The Salvation Army is still seeking volunteers to “ring the bells” at its red kettle locations throughout Lee County between now and Christmas Eve. Volunteers can sign up for shifts as short as one hour and work at a time and location convenient to them.

The kettle campaign is the Salvation Army’s main fund-raiser. Each year, the Salvation Army places its red kettles outside of local department stores and grocery stores in hopes of raising the funds to help people who find themselves in need throughout the year. This program raises about $35,000 each year, funds that are used to help provide rent, utility payments, prescriptions and food assistance to those who are struggling. The Salvation Army also has several different seasonal programs, including the Christmas JOY Program and summer camps for youth. Last year the Sanford unit of The Salvation Army touched more than 4,000 lives through its services.

To volunteer, or for more information, contact Sgt. Barbara Hertzog at the Salvation Army offices by calling (919) 718-1717.

N.C. Treasure Chest Ministries

This organization will hold its annual Christmas event beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22, at the Lee County Arts & Community Center, and donations of funds and toys and other gifts for participating children are still needed.

N.C. Treasure Chest is an intentionally evangelistic ministry, and during the Dec. 22 event, volunteers will be sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, providing a warm meal, plus addressing felt needs — including gifts for children at Christmas that they could not otherwise provide. In addition, volunteers will be providing financial advice, creating resumés, helping with job seeking, addiction recovery and more.

Donations of money, gift cards and new/gently-used toys, clothing and other items are being accepted. For information, call Greg or Tamara Lamb at (919) 777-9222, or mail donations (please make your check out to “Treasure Chest Ministries”) to 1200 Red Oak Drive, Sanford, N.C. 27331.

BackPack Pals/Communities In Schools

Communities In Schools of Lee County, which helps facilitate the BackPack Pals program, is assembling Christmas packs to be sent home to children late next week. CIS is seeking 200 boxes of cereal and 200 large cans (not the individual serving size) of Chef Boyardee or similar ready-to-heat meals. The items are needed by Dec. 12. Although CIS plans to purchase large boxes of macaroni and cheese and peanut butter, those items are also needed, in addition to candy, pencils and Christmas-themed stickers.

To help, contact the CIS office at (919) 718-5426.

CUOC/Brick City Grill

Brick City Grill, located at 120 Bank Street, is offering $1 off any meal purchase of $5 or more with the donation of a new or gently used toy or canned food items through Dec. 23. All donations will help with needs at CUOC (Christians United Outreach Center). For more information, contact Paul Poe at Brick City Grill at (919) 776-8874.