Charity groups hoping for feast of holiday donations

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Fixing Thanksgiving dinner for the relatives doesn't compare to the feast the Salvation Army will prepare next week.

More than 500 people are expected to dine on the turkey and dressing meal cooked at the Cape Girardeau center.

And while many people nibble on the holiday leftovers through the remaining days of November, charitable organizations and assistance programs are hoping for a feast of donations.

In Cape Girardeau, there are programs to help families, children and senior adults. The Salvation Army acts as a clearinghouse for many of the programs sponsored by civic clubs in the community.

Applicants can apply for aid through a Christmas food basket program or children's gifts through Toybox. Each applicant needs to show a picture ID, proof of income and Social Security numbers for each person in the household.

Applications are accepted from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. each weekday at the Salvation Army, 701 Good Hope St. Deadline for applications is Dec. 3.

Donations and community support are crucial to these charitable programs. Sixty turkeys, 30 hams, canned foods, rolls, pies and desserts and paper products are needed for the meal. Hutson's Furniture is a drop-off location for meal donations.

"We have a large number of volunteers and a variety of projects," said Maj. Michael Thomas. Volunteers will help cook in the days before the holiday, some will serve, others will clean up. And extra hands will be needed to help sort the coats donated through the "Coats for Kids" project.

The Salvation Army is accepting coats and warm clothing to be used throughout the winter. A drive will be held from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at Schnucks.

With the help of the Salvation Army, the Cape Girardeau Jaycees again will bring holiday surprises to area families with the Toybox campaign. Applications for the program are accepted at the Salvation Army.

New toys for children from infants to age 12 are needed for Toybox. Suggested gifts include board games, sports equipment, dolls, Legos, educational toys, books, crayons and coloring books, art sets and supplies, trucks and action figures.

More than 1,100 families were helped through the program last year. Drop-off locations will be announced at a later date.

Items for Christmas for the Elderly also are accepted at the Toybox drop-off locations. Christmas for the Elderly gives seniors some much needed household items as well as holiday gifts. The program is a joint effort of the Jaycees, the Missouri Division of Health and Senior Services and the county department of health.

Monetary gifts to Toybox or Christmas for the Elderly can be mailed to P.O. Box 4, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702-0004.

WANT TO HELP?

* Toybox provides Christmas gifts for children up to age 12. New toys can be dropped off at Salvation Army offices, 701 Good Hope St., or drop sites throughout the area.

Christmas for the Elderly provides Christmas gifts for older residents with financial need. Household items and gifts can be dropped off at the Salvation Army offices, 701 Good Hope St., or drop sites throughout the area.

Coats for Kids provides warm winter clothes and coats for children in the community. Donations may be dropped off today at Schnucks from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Salvation Army will provide a Thanksgiving meal for residents. Turkeys, hams, canned foods and other supplies for the meal may be dropped at Hutson's Furniture. Volunteers are also needed to serve the meal and to clean up.

Monetary gifts to Toybox or Christmas for the Elderly can be mailed to P.O. Box 4, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702-0004.

To apply to receive aid from the Salvation Army residents must bring a picture ID, proof of income and Social Security number for each member of the household to the Salvation Army offices, 701 Good Hope St. Applications are accepted from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Salvation Army offices through Dec. 3.

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