Ozarks Agencies Still Needing Volunteers for Holiday Assistance

(Springfield, MO) -- Volunteers are busy getting ready to distribute a gym full of gifts at the Salvation Army Wednesday for the annual Santa giveaway, but other outreach events are already underway.

And as you can imagine, there's always a need for more help.

The Salvation Army packed more items Tuesday for its annual Elderly and Disabled Christmas Assistance Program.

"If I didn't look forward to this, I wouldn't know what to do and it would be kind of rough," says Becky Helm. "Time is getting rough out there. It's really getting bad."

A blanket and food voucher will go a long way, and so will the auditorium filled with toys and boxes of food.

"There's so many people in need, especially now with the economy the way it is and people without jobs," says volunteer Judi Turner.

The local Salvation Army has raised $560,000 so far in this year's Red Kettle Campaign.

"We did increase your goal from $935,000 to $1 million," says Major Norman Grainger. "But percentage wise, we're actually tracking similar."

Ozarks Food Harvest also benefitted from holiday donors.

"I'm happy to say we're seeing a great influx of donations," says Denise Gibson, Director of Development and Communications. "A lot of companies are doing food drives for us."

But there's still a need to give back through a donation or the gift of time. Ozarks Food Harvest needs about 150 volunteers every week to sort about 75,000 pounds of food.

People are encouraged to call their favorite agencies to see when they need the most volunteers.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign wraps up this saturday. But you are more than welcome to mail a donation to the local office.

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