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Christmas Cheer program accepting applications soon from those in need

By Staff | Oct 8, 2009

The Salvation Army of Lee and Hendry counties will soon accept applications for its Christmas Cheer program, which helps needy families during the holiday season by distributing toys and food.
Last year 40,000 gifts were provided to children in Lee and Hendry, and 4,770 homes received food.
With the economic downturn expected to continue through the end of the year, the Salvation Army’s Jacqui Williams said the organization expects more families than ever to sign up for the program.
“We’re expecting a lot more families this year — needs are up across the board,” she said. “We’re really relying on the community and our business partners to help us.”
The Salvation Army relies heavily on its partners to help make the Christmas Cheer program work.
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, United State Postal Workers, area media outlets and retail businesses all pitch in to make the program happen.
Williams said all families who request help will receive it.
Beginning Oct. 28, registration opens and continues through Nov. 23.
The Salvation Army will also ramp up its red kettle campaign soon as that effort helps to fund the Christmas Cheer program, among others.
They will search for volunteers for the red kettle campaign, but Williams said that some paid positions will be available.
“Our volunteers are not paid, but we do have some Christmas employment opportunities coming up,” she said.
To sign up for the Christmas Cheer program, all families must submit an application.
For adults, a valid Florida driver’s license and Social Security card are required, as well as proof of income and benefits. For children, a Social Security card or birth certificate is required.
The registration location is at 10291 McGregor Blvd., in Fort Myers. Registration times are: Oct 28-30, 9 a.m.-noon; Nov. 5, 9 a.m.-noon and 5-8 p.m.; Nov 6-7, 9 a.m.-noon; and Nov. 23, 9 a.m.-noon.
For more information, call 278-1551.