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The Salvation Army Assisted More than 20,500 this Past Christmas

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Released 7 February 2014

 The Salvation Army Assisted More than 20,500 this Past Christmas

Food, Gifts, Toys and A Caring Hand were Extended to Those Most in Need

Cincinnati, OH (February 7, 2014) - The Salvation Army in Greater Cincinnati today announced it served 20,544 individuals through its Christmas programs in 2013.  The programs included Adopt-a-Family, Toy Shop, Gift/Food Baskets and the Community Cares Ministry.  Through these Christmas-focused programs, an estimated $536,505 worth of gifts, food and toys was distributed.  The individuals served included those of all ages, from the very young to the elderly. Merry Christmas!

"What a tremendous way to share Christmas with our neighbors in need," stated Major Larry Ashcraft, Divisional Commander at The Salvation Army.  "Only through the generous support of donors and volunteers are we able to touch the lives of so many.  I'm very grateful to all those who stepped forward to help us in this very important work." 

Grateful, as well, were those who received some form of Christmas assistance, as reflected in this comment from one such Adopt-a-Family recipient: "I'm just a grandmother trying to do the best I can for my children and grandchildren. These gifts are such a blessing."

The Adopt-a-Family program pairs families and seniors in need with generous sponsors willing to ‘adopt' them for Christmas.  Sponsors include individuals, families, church and civic groups, and employees from area companies. They shop for, wrap and drop off presents for the recipients based on a needs list provided to them. In 2013, 2,017 individuals were served through the Adopt-a-Family program, through the generosity of 277 sponsors.

The Toy Shop program provides toys, dolls, books and Kroger gift cards to families in need of Christmas assistance.  Toys are provided through a partnership with the Marine Reserves' Toys for Tots program, as well as toys purchased by The Salvation Army from donor contributions.  Books, dolls, handmade doll outfits, and quilts are provided by The Salvation Army Toy Shop Auxiliary, which has worked diligently for more than 55 years to make Christmas brighter for area families. In 2013, 8,461 individuals were served through Toy Shop, including 5,141 children up to age 13. 

Gift Baskets, with food items and toys, were provided to local families through the six (6) Salvation Army Community Centers (Corps) throughout the city.  This program helps to ensure that families not reached by either the Adopt-a-Family or Toy Shop program are able to have a more joyous Christmas.  In 2013, more than 800 gift baskets were distributed, touching the lives of 3,365 individuals.  As well, toys were distributed to 2,812 children.

Through the Community Cares Ministry, those confined to nursing homes and hospitals are visited by Salvation Army officers, staff and volunteers, and presented with a gift to lighten their spirits.  During these visits a Salvation Army blanket was distributed to 2,852 individuals.

For the fourth straight year, those served by The Salvation Army benefitted from a partnership with Bob Evans Restaurants.  Through the program, diners and employees at Bob Evans donated funds to help provide "Farm Feast" dinners to local families.  In 2013, the program provided 256 Farm Feast dinners, serving 1,792 individuals.

"Supporting others in need is particularly rewarding at Christmas," added Major Faith Miller, Divisional Program Secretary at The Salvation Army. "Through our Christmas programs we had the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others, as well as to express Christian charity and love.  I'm very thankful to all those who provided the support necessary to implement these programs that helped so many."

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