Community Program Lifting Spirits Up One Family At A Time
People benefiting from The Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program in 2007 wait in line to receive presents at the San Bernardino Corps.
(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) The Salvation Army is now accepting applications to Adopt-A-Family this holiday season. This program provides a way to lift the spirits of needy families by giving them a Christmas they will never forget.
Each year hundreds of Inland Empire families come to the Salvation Army for help in hopes to be considered as a family “in need”. “We list them among our families to be ‘adopted,” says San Bernardino Salvation Army Captain Stephen Ball.
“The breadwinner may have lost a job; the family may have been forced out of their homes due to foreclosure, someone may have been seriously, and expensively ill; or perhaps the family has faced a debilitating death of one of the parents. No matter the problem that causes the disruption or the ceasing of Christmas plans, the Adopt-A-Family program is here to help,” said Ball.
The process starts with families who sign up at their nearest Salvation Army branch, asking to be included in the Adopt-A-Family program, and note their gift wishes or family needs. Other families, businesses or groups then choose to “adopt” a family. Once the other family or business receives a match they will provide the adopted family with gifts and necessary items making their holiday bright.
Groups and businesses who adopt will invest thousands or more in a family. Families accepted into the program in the past have received gifts from new clothes for the whole family to much needed home repairs.
The success of the program comes from the many generous families and businesses who pitch in to assist, not overwhelm each needy family. “It’s a matter of “whatever it takes” to aid their selected family to get past the stress of the holidays”.
“The more families we can have adopted, the more we will be able to help,” said Envoy Naomi Tamez, co-commander of the Ontario Corps of The Salvation Army with her husband Abel. “If the community could adopt 100 families, it would help tremendously.”
“Adopting’ a family does not mean to take on the responsibility or shouldering a burden,” Capt. Ball explains. “It’s truly sharing the Christmas spirit with others who may not be as fortunate as you. It’s helping families to enjoy the holidays just as most of the rest of us do.”
Willing to adopt a family? Know of a family in need? Now more than ever the Salvation Army is asking the public’s help to provide the needy families of the Inland Empire a holiday without stress.
To adopt a family in San Bernardino, Colton, Rialto, Grand Terrace or Highland, call (909) 888-1336. The San Bernardino office is setting up a volunteer schedule to which Capt. Ball and his staff are eager to assist local residents in adding their names
To adopt a family in Redlands and other East San Bernardino Valley communities call (909) 792-6868. Volunteer Services Coordinator Mike Delgado will provide an application and on approval by Capt. Jonathan Apaun, assign volunteers to bell-ringing duties.
To adopt a family in San Bernardino County’s High Desert, call (760) 245-5745 and ask for Margot Barhas.
To adopt a family in Ontario and other West San Bernardino Valley communities, call Envoy Abel Tamez at (909) 509-2503 or Envoy Naomi Tamez at (909) 509-2741.
To adopt a family in the Desert Hot Springs/Coachella Valley areas, contact the Cathedral City Corps at (760) 324-2275.
To adopt a family in Hemet, San Jacinto, Idyllwild and surrounding areas contact the Hemet Corps at (951) 925-7176.
To adopt a family in Moreno Valley, Perris and surrounding areas, call the Moreno Valley Corps at (951) 653-9131.
To adopt a family in Murrieta, Temecula, Canyon Lake, Menifee and surrounding areas, call the Murrieta Corps at (951) 677-1324.
To adopt a family in Riverside, Corona, Norco and surrounding areas, call the Riverside Corps at (951) 784-4490.
About the Salvations Army San Bernardino Corps
The Salvation Army may be able to provide emergency services including food; lodging for homeless or displaced families; clothing and furniture; assistance with rent or mortgage and transportation when funds are available. The Salvation Army Team Radio Network assists rescue workers and evacuees in such disasters as fires.
The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian church and also offers evangelical programs for boys, girls and adults. One of the largest charitable and international service organizations in the world, The Salvation Army has been in existence since 1865 and in San Bernardino since 1887, supporting those in need without discrimination. Donations may always be made online at www.salvationarmyusa.org or by calling 1-(800)-SAL-ARMY.
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