The season for children's toys and turkey dinners with all the fixings is fast approaching. It's time for those in need of a helping holiday hand, and for volunteers willing to lend a hand, to sign up for the Salvation Army's holiday assistance events.
In 2011 the Salvation Army provided assistance only for Christmas, but to a record number of nearly 6,000 individuals, including 2,932 children, said Jackie Agee, development director for the Salvation Army
What: Signup for Salvation Army holiday meals and toys.
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 30, Nov.1 and Dec. 4, and from 3 to 7 p.m. Nov. 6 and 29.
Where: 226 N. Ross Lane, Medford.
More information: Call 541-773-6965.
"We're expecting at least as many people as we had last year," Agee said.
The Army will be working closely with ACCESS to ensure this year's annual holiday program will include a choice of food for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner — as well as toys at Christmas for children 12 years of age and younger, she said.
"People can choose if they want to receive help with their Thanksgiving or Christmas meal," Agee said. "But qualified families with children will be eligible for (Christmas) toys even if they sign up for the Thanksgiving meal."
Thanksgiving distribution is set for Nov. 20. Christmas distributions will be held Dec. 19 and 20 at 226 N. Ross Lane, Medford.
Registration will begin Tuesday, Oct. 30, and continue through November and into early December.
Participants can sign up at the North Ross Lane distribution center, which is owned by Batzer Construction and is the former site of the Kid Time Discovery Zone, Agee said.
Those wishing to receive help should bring identification for all family members along with income verification and proof of residence, she said.
The holiday boxes will have chicken, turkey or ham and stuffing, as well as canned and fresh fruits and vegetables, she said.
"Pretty much all the fixings for a holiday meal," Agee said.
The Salvation Army in 2011 provided distribution for the Toys for Tots program, which provided toys to 6,000 children in 2,500 families in 2010. More than 1,500 families signed up for food assistance in 2011, well ahead of the 1,200 in 2010, she said.
"There are so many people still in need in our community," Agee said.
It will take hundreds of volunteers from the community to make Thanksgiving and Christmas happen for needy families in Jackson County, Agee said. Volunteers should call the Salvation Army to find how they can register to help. Opportunities include counting, sorting and bagging toys and food as well as assisting on distribution days, she said.
"We have to have a couple hundred volunteers," Agee said. "They can sign up for an hour or a day or whatever they can do."
Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.