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Decatur Salvation Army Offers Holiday Help
According to the United States Department of Labor, Macon County has a 12 percent unemployment rate, one of the highest in the state. With the holiday season right around the corner, those who need a little extra help this winter have some options.
"We understand that people genuinely get into situations sometimes in their life where they need a helping hand and they need a hand up, not just a handout," said Salvation Army Captain Wesley Dalberg.
The Decatur Salvation Army is getting a head start on the holidays and will soon be accepting applications for their Christmas Food and Toy Assistance program.
"After they apply for the assistance, they receive a ticket telling them when to come back and pick up their toys and their food basket," said Dalberg.
Last year, the Decatur Salvation Army helped more than 6,700 Macon County residents, and this year, they are expecting even more.
"Unfortunately, we anticipate having people that didn't have to come for help last Christmas. Maybe they were ones who were able to put money into the Christmas kettle when they went by and maybe this year they may be the ones asking for help," said Dalberg.
Decatur resident Angela Johnson has been applying for the Christmas Food and Toy Assistance program for the past seven years and says she doesn't know what she would do without it.
"It's beneficial, I mean, if you're struggling. Which I struggle on a daily basis because I have four children and I have six grandkids. It's just too hard," said Johnson.
Johnson said the holidays would be difficult if the Salvation Army didn't help her during tough times.
"They wouldn't get but maybe one or two things and it would probably be dollar store stuff, and it would be really hard knowing that Christmas morning my grandchildren would have hardly anything to open," said Johnson.
The Decatur Salvation Army will begin accepting applications for their Christmas Food and Toy Assistance Program beginning November 4 through November 8 at the Salvation Army office at 229 West Main Street in Decatur.
Registration for assistance will be open starting November 4 from 9 a.m. to noon, 1p.m. to 4 p.m.and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
It will continue November 5 through November 8 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Officials with the Salvation Army say they share the list of people who apply for assistance with other organizations so that residents will not be able to get help from multiple agencies. This ensures that everyone who needs assistance will be able to find it.