Christmas arrives in the west
Army Outreach targets poor and needy
At Christmas, The Salvation Army expresses God’s love to those in need, offering gifts, food, and most importantly, the salvation available in Jesus Christ—God’s gift to all and while free, the most priceless gift ever offered…
Alaska—For more than 25 years the Salvation Army in Alaska has partnered with the National Guard in Operation Santa Claus, bringing holiday cheer to children and families in remote communities. Twelve communities will receive a visit this year and more than 1,600 toys will be delivered.
Partnering with local NBC affiliate, KTUU-2 News, the Army’s Power of 2 campaign features local weather anchor Jackie Purcell inviting Alaskans to give two hours of time to help ring bells. The response has been great, even reaching communities outside the Anchorage area where the campaign is centered.
The Juneau Corps will set up its traditional toyshop in the Lemon Creek Correctional Facility. Each parent incarcerated will be able to select toys for their children and then volunteers wrap and send out the gifts.
Cascade—In Portland, the Army is a sponsor of the holiday tree in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Supporters can buy a light on the tree for $10—the money goes to help Portland’s neediest children and families during the holidays and beyond.
Through Operation Santa Claus, the Army and the Lilly Foundation are aiding local military families. Radio station NewsTalk 860 KPAM and Bob Miller are helping raise funds.
The Idaho Falls Corps will host a brunch with Santa for children and parents. Two Santas, Caucasian and Hispanic, visit the kids and each child receives a photo with Santa. About 900 people are expected.
Del Oro—The Chico Corps will host a community Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. In Sacramento around 5,000 families will benefit from the Army’s Christmas distribution; a special Adopt-A-Family distribution will occur Dec. 22-23.
Golden State—In San Francisco, the Toy & Joy Shop will be open Dec. 18-23 for children ages 5-18 from low-income families to “shop” for gifts and stocking stuffers, as well as a food basket, at no cost. In all, the Family Services Department will give out out more than 32,000 gifts during the Christmas season.
As in the past, the Army in San Francisco will deliver warm meals on Christmas Day to thousands of homebound individuals.
Hawaiian and Pacific Islands—Hawaii’s Lt. Governor James “Duke” Aiona again helped launch the holiday season in downtown Honolulu by depositing the first donation in the kettle. Advisory Board members rang bells at four busy intersections in the business district and a musical program entertained hundreds during the lunchtime festivities.
“Take a Kettle to Lunch” targets Honolulu’s business community to adopt a kettle during their lunch break. Started last year, it became a friendly competition among several businesses to outdo each other in collecting kettle donations.
Intermountain—In Denver, continuing a 20-year tradition, the Army will hold a food drive with CBS. This year Cricket Communications is also sponsoring the drive with donated promotional spots and cell phones for the Army’s use during the season. The divisional youth department has worked to involve local schools—60 have signed up for the drive.
The Army will participate in Denver’s Parade of Lights, a two-night televised event, with two carriages donated by KOA radio. New York’s Radio City Rockettes will perform in a benefit show.
Northwest—In Spokane, Washington, radio station KYWL 103.9 hosted a three-day coat and clothing drive for the Spokane Salvation Army. The goal was filling a giant Radio Flyer Red Wagon located in River Front Park in downtown Spokane.
On December 18, families residing in transitional housing and the S*A*F*E* Center homeless shelter have offered to give back to the Army by volunteering to host a kettle site for the day.
Sierra Del Mar—On December 17 the World Christmas Caroling Record Breaking Event, featuring Webster University and The Salvation Army will take place at the San Diego Convention Center.
The El Cajon Corps will hold the Firefighters and Peace Officers Toy Parade on Dec. 18. The parade ends with a live radio broadcast.
The Salvation Army in San Diego will host Christmas dinner on Dec. 25 at Golden Hall.
Southern California—Seven children from Westwood Transitional Village will attend the Kathy Ireland Holiday Children’s Gala—Ireland, with a host of athletes and entertainers, holds the gala for thirty pre-selected children.
The Compton Corps will host a luncheon on Christmas Day for over 300 pre-selected people.
On Dec. 26, the Torrance Corps will host a luncheon at the Torrance Marriott for 1,000 people—300 families—from His House. Honda is providing the food and staff, and the Marriott is donating the room and the waiters.
Southwest—In Phoenix, rock star and local restaurant owner Alice Cooper will again host “Cooper’s Town.” Over 200 children from the Army’s Kaiser Family Homeless Shelter, Elim House (domestic violence shelter), and the Casa Grande and Mesa Corps will enjoy live entertainment, a visit from Santa and lunch. Valley Commerce Bank sponsors the event.
On Dec. 25, the Army in Phoenix will serve more than 5,000 at the Congregate Christmas Dinner. Those dining will enjoy live entertainment and gift bags; each child will receive a present. Meals will also be prepared and delivered to those who aren’t able to attend.