PARKERSBURG - The Salvation Army of Parkersburg Corps is looking toward the holiday season as it takes applications for Christmas assistance.
"We are having a lot of people register," said Lt. Mechelle Henry with the organization.
The corps started accepting applications on Oct. 1 and has already had 250 families sign up.
"We are expecting about 700 families, maybe more," Henry said.
Last year the organization aided more than 1,000 families, roughly 4,000 children, in its six-county coverage area.
"We have had a lot of people come in and say that this is their first time asking for help giving their children a Christmas and I keep saying that we are here to support them," Henry said. "It is one thing we are able to do with the support of the community."
People wanting to register for the assistance are encouraged to make an appointment to apply by contacting the Parkersburg office or offices in Pleasants, Wirt, Calhoun, Jackson and Ritchie counties.
To register for the holiday assistance, which is Angel Tree gifts for children 12-years-old and younger and a boxed Christmas meal with ham and all the sides, parents must bring photo identification, Social Security cards for them and the children as well as proof of income and expenses for the last 30 days.
Because the current times for registration end at 3 p.m. and many parents cannot come until later, Henry said they will have a late day until 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 23.
"We have had a lot of people call and say they cannot come in while we are doing the registration, so we are working to accommodate them," she said.
Registration for holiday assistance will continue until Oct. 26.
The Angel Trees will be placed in the community on Nov. 9, which is also when the red kettle drive will kick off at area stores.
"We still need volunteer bell ringers and people to adopt children from the Angel Trees," Henry said. "We love to have families with little kids ring the bells because it teaches children what Christmas is all about."
For more information on the assistance or to volunteer, contact the corps at 304-485-4529.