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    A line of needy families awaits distribution of gift boxes by the San Bernardino Corps of the Salvation Army. Photo by Chris Sloan

    San Bernardino Salvation Army Corps Officer Maj. Nancy Ball and volunteer Tara Murphy give gift cards to a recipient of one of 600 holiday gift boxes distributed last Christmas. Photo by Chris Sloan

    Jason Hulsey, a Salvation Army volunteer, loads gift boxes onto a dolly so that he can give them to recipients. Photo by Chris Sloan

    (San Bernardino, Calif.) During the holidays, area businesses, churches and organizations join together with the San Bernardino Salvation Army Corps (www.salvationarmyusa.org) to sponsor families, by making donations that bring the joy of Christmas to those in need.
    Every year, hundreds of families in need turn to the Salvation Army to help feed their families during the Christmas season and to provide their children with joy through the toy donations received from the “Christmas Giving Tree” program.
    “As the economy tightens, we have seen an increase in the number of families that are in need of our help, especially around the holiday season,” said Major Stephen Ball, director of the San Bernardino Corps. “Some families struggle year-round. Others find themselves in unusual need due to a recent job loss. Regardless of the situation, we are here to help as much as possible.”
    As in years past, each family will receive a Christmas gift basket filled with canned goods and a gift certificate to Stater Bros. Adopted families also benefit from the Salvation Army’s annual “Christmas Giving Tree” program, which accepts donations of toys through Dec. 24, giving them to the children.
    “This year we plan to help more than 600 families with food and toys for Christmas,” said Maj. Ball.  “With the increase in families seeking assistance, we are asking the public for additional donations of canned food items, as well as Stater Bros. gift certificates.”
    The Salvation Army is also seeking organizations and businesses that can help some of these families by taking part in its “Adopt-A-Family” program. Participants in this program are matched with one of between 25 to 50 identified families with the greatest needs, receiving additional food and clothing from their benefactors.
    To make a donation or sign up for assistance call the San Bernardino Salvation Army Corp at (909) 888-1336
    Those individuals who want to donate toys can find the Salvation Army’s  “Christmas Giving Trees” at the following locations:

    • San Bernardino Corps – Inland Center Mall (500 Inland Center Drive, San Bernardino) near the food court.
    • The Ontario Corps – in front of JC Penney’s at the Montclair Plaza (5060 E. Montclair Plaza Lane, Montclair)
    • The Redlands Corps – at Wal-Mart (2050 W. Redlands Blvd., Redlands).
    • The Riverside Corps asks shoppers to call (951) 784-4490, ext. 100 to obtain the name of and requests of more than 3,000 children on its “Angel” list.

    The Salvation Army urges Inland Empire residents and families to help other families have a holiday they will never forget.
    The San Bernardino Corps benefits residents of San Bernardino, Colton, Grand Terrace, Highland, Rialto and Bloomington.
    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 San Bernardino Corps serves: Bloomington, Colton, Grand Terrace, Highland, Rialto and San Bernardino.
    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.
    For local help, please call (909) 888-1336.


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