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Salvation Army collects goods to brighten spirits

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - The Salvation Army is in need of donations for their Annual Christmas Food Drive and Toy Drive.

'Tis the season to be jolly and bringing Christmas cheer to families around the island and in the true holiday spirit the Salvation Army has begun preparing their annual holiday food boxes. Volunteers young and old alike lent a helping hand today.

So far 125 families have signed up to receive food boxes and over the last month the Salvation Army has received generous donations from schools, businesses and organizations. As well residents brought in pallets, boxes and bags full of canned goods.

Salvation Army Captain Michael Lutcher told KUAM News, "Now it looks like we are going to be able to prep for 250 boxes this year last year we did 400 boxes. And because of the amount of food that was donated we have to lower the number so that we can make sure we can hand out those boxes this year...really the one item we are low on this year is the meat items so because we are low on meat items we had to just lower our number so that we can make sure the family gets more of a well balanced box of food."

Volunteers and Salvation Army staff began filling the boxes with rice, cereals, meat products, and vegetables which will be distributed to families who have signed up to receive the food. Lutcher said, "I think for the canned goods we will be needing more it looks like we are using a good portion of the food that was donated just before Thanksgiving."

While the food boxes will help fill the bellies of many families the Salvation Army's Toy & Joy Christmas Gift Drive hopes to put smiles on children's faces. "The toy drive is coming along slowly - I believe we have roughly around 20 toys so far that has been donated," he said.

The Salvation Army anticipates two thousand children who are in need of toys and already have over 1,000 signed up. Captain Lutcher says they are partnering with Toys for Tots, KUAM and the military to help collect toy donations for children who need gifts.  "KUAM has a box people can drop them off at KUAM they can also drop it off here at our facility in Tiyan we are right around the corner from WIC and the Environmental Protection Agency," he said.

Every bit counts and with that in mind unwrapped toys will continue to be accepted through December 20th. If you would like to donate gifts for the Toy & Joy Drive stop by the KUAM Studios in Harmon or the Salvation Army. Toy and food distribution is scheduled for December 17 through the 19th at the Salvation Army from 10am to 4pm.

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