Last year, the Salvation Army provided assistance to more than 1,200 families, including more than 3,200 children, Director of Social Services Sarah Moody said.
And in recent weeks, a lot of people have been calling the agency asking about assistance this year, Moody said.
“We’re expecting an increase this year, especially in the food program, based on the increase we’ve seen this year from people coming in for meals or to our food pantry,” Moody said.
The Salvation Army of Kingsport serves residents in five counties: Sullivan and Hawkins counties in Tennessee; and Lee, Scott and Wise counties in Virginia.
The Christmas assistance application process begins this morning.
Guidelines for participation are based on total household income, monthly expenses and the number of people in the household.
“They need to bring identification for everyone in the household, proof of any and all income, including food stamps or other assistance, and proof of any bills they’re paying on a monthly basis,” Moody said. “Also, we let them know we do cross-reference with other local agencies that provide Christmas assistance. If we find out they’re registered at other places, they’ll receive a letter notifying them they’ve been denied for that reason. We do that to prevent duplication of services.”
Applications for assistance for children must be submitted by the legal guardians.
Residents of Lee and Wise counties can pick up applications at Department of Human Services offices in their home counties and mail the completed forms to the Salvation Army.
Residents of Sullivan County, Hawkins County and Scott County, Va., should apply in person.
“We will do home visits if absolutely necessary, if someone is completely disabled and can’t come out and if someone else in the family can’t bring the information out,” Moody said. “We will do a home visit for the elderly or something like that.”
Those who qualify for assistance will receive food vouchers for an amount calculated to provide the family with a holiday meal, and children under 18 years old will receive gifts through the Army’s “Angel Tree” program.
Applications will be accepted at the Salvation Army’s offices at 505 Dale St. from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Friday (Oct. 6 through Oct. 10) and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 11).
Appointments are not necessary.
“It’s not a first-come, first-serve situation,” Moody said. “We’ll be taking applications all week long.”
For more information contact Moody at 390-4250.