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October 25, 2013

Salvation Army helps bring Christmas to needy families

The Salvation Army in Modesto has started signing up low-income families for its annual Christmas program, in which they receive food boxes and toys.

Christmas should be better this year for a 46-year-old single mom and her five children: It will include a home-cooked meal, and not all of the gifts will come from one of the dollar discount stores.

The single mother was among several parents who signed up Friday afternoon at the Salvation Army’s Modesto Citadel Corps for Christmas food and toys.

“It will mean a lot to my kids,” said the woman, who declined to give her name to save her teenage children the embarrassment of publicizing the family’s plight. “I’m tired of doing without.”

The Citadel Corps is signing up low-income families through Nov. 1 for its annual Christmas program. The Citadel Corps provided food baskets and toys to 1,439 families in Modesto, Empire, Salida and Ceres last year. About 3,000 children as old as 12 received 9,165 toys. The teenagers attended a holiday party at McHenry Bowl.

The families receive food for a Christmas meal, as well as additional food to see them through several days. The army needs donations of money, food and new toys, such as dolls, board games and sports equipment.

The single mom said she and her children spent last Christmas eating a free meal provided by the Alano Club in Ceres. She said her kids want to stay home this Christmas. “I love to cook,” she said. “And my kids want me to do it.”

Sign-ups are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Citadel Corps, 625 I St. Applicants need to bring proof of their income and address and IDs or Social Security cards for every member of the household. Donations can be dropped off during weekdays. For more information, call (209) 522-3209.

The Salvation Army in Turlock will start signing up families for its Christmas program in early December.

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