Salvation Army helping needy families until Christmas Eve

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

BILOX, MS (WLOX) - The Salvation Army says most of the bikes, games and baby dolls they have left to give out are for families who missed the Angel Tree deadline, but still managed to register for some kind of Christmas assistance. Officials know there are other needy families from whom the Salvation Army has yet to hear.

Major Will Cundiff said, "There's so many people that don't know. They had their job until last week, or they maybe lost their house last week or rental apartment."

"We've dealt with families losing their apartments or their Katrina cottages. There's nowhere to go. And even if they find a place to go then they're still going to need Christmas."

Major Cundiff says the Salvation Army has set aside this coming Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for people with emergency Christmas needs. He says those people need to arrive at Yankie Stadium in Biloxi before noon and with documentation in hand.

"They'll need to bring all their details about what their expenses are so that we can qualify them," Cundiff said. "Rental or house payment, car payments, what their income is, verification, general things like that."

The Salvation Army says they want every child to have a Christmas gift, and parents shouldn't feel bad for not realizing they need help until the last minute.

"We want to at least have that one day for them to be able to sit around the Christmas tree and open toys (and) have enough to eat and have a really great day," said Major Cundiff.

For first time this year, Major Cundiff says the Salvation Army and Toys For Tots compared their lists for Christmas assistance request. The major says this was done to reduce duplication because some families get double while others get very little. He says in one South Mississippi county 40 percent of applicants were on both lists.