Anchorage charities are coming together in a community effort to help children and families in need have a happy holiday this season -- but these charities need your help to make a difference in the lives of others.
The Salvation Army has a goal to give 12,000 gifts to children this Christmas, but needs more toys and volunteers for the Neighborhood GIFT Distribution Program that starts Monday and ends Tuesday.
The program is looking for gifts for children between the ages of 9 and 14, as well as those for newborns through two years old.
The Food Bank of Alaska is also looking for more food donations including canned corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy mix and boxed stuffing mix.
Salvation Army officials say that gifts, volunteer time or money could help make a Christmas wish come true for a child in need.
“When you give a child a toy on Christmas morning, it’s more than a gift,” said Capt. Rio Ray. “It’s hope, it’s joy, it’s something that makes that child feel special and valuable -- and you help a child that’s in need.”
Neighborhood GIFT will serve families from different ZIP codes as follows at the Sullivan Arena, on Monday and Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.:
Monday, Dec. 16, 2013:
99501, 99504, 99507, 99509, 99510, 99511, 99513, 99514, 99515, 99521, 99522, 99540, 99587
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013:
99502, 99503, 99505, 99506, 99508, 99516, 99517, 99518, 99520, 99524
An Eagle River distribution, only for those in ZIP codes 99567, 99577 and 99695, will take place Friday and Saturday at the Community Covenant Church at 16123 Artillery Rd. Times are still being determined, and organizers ask people to call 211 to determine when the Eagle River event will be held.
Families are asked to bring proof of address or a photo ID for food, as well as documentation of children -- including a report card, Denali Kidcare Card or birth certificate -- for toys.
Neighborhood GIFT also needs hundreds of volunteers, as well as donations of new, unwrapped toys. There is no sign-up required, with volunteers and contributions accepted at the Sullivan Arena anytime between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. either Monday or Tuesday.