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Organizations help families during the holidays

As the holidays approach and the economy is down, many families look for help to provide for them and their loved ones.

Many organizations around Tyler are preparing to help these families to the best of their ability.

PATH (People Attempting to Help) is constantly accepting food and cans to provide to the less fortunate families. During the month of November, they are in need of canned meat and meals and during December they are collecting flour and corn meal.

The Salvation Army motto is “Doing the Most Good.” They strive to get donations and contributions to help families in need during the holidays.

“We need volunteers to donate some of their time to provide for the less fortunate families,” said Vicki Hastings, community and corporate relations coordinator for The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is in sponsorship with PATH to sponsor “One Night Without A House” where anyone who has ever wondered about living on the streets being homeless has felt like. The Salvation Army will provide the meals and participants will spend the night at Bergfeld Park.

On Nov. 20 they will host the Angel Tree kickoff at the Broadway Square Mall at 10 a.m. The Angel Tree provides a way for under-privileged families to experience the joy of Christmas.

The Salvation Army will also host the Kettle Kickoff at 10 a.m. on Nov. 25 at Chick-Fil-A at both Tyler locations. This is the start of the Ringing for Hope. This year, the Salvation Army will have 33 kettle locations throughout Tyler and surrounding areas.

“We (Salvation Army) are in need of volunteers to ring the bell. It is easy to get a group together and ring the bell at a location for a short amount of time,” said Lori Nelson- Pallex, special events/volunteer coordinator.

The goal of the volunteers is to bring Christmas cheer to those coming and going from area stores and to be available to those who want to contribute. Over 2,000 families received food baskets and toys for their children during last year’s effort. Every four hours of time volunteered allows The Salvation Army to help one family. Bell ringers are needed from Nov. 27 until Dec. 24.

They also offer a Thanksgiving dinner meal to anyone in the community that is interested. The meal is free and they provide turkeys donated by sponsors. The meal is provided on Nov. 26 at the Community Center and is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

PATH is also hosting a blanket drive. This drive will last until the latter part of February. They are collecting new and gently used blankets to distribute to people in need. If interested, donations can be dropped off at The Cleaning Company dry cleaners or new ones only can be dropped of at the PATH office.

PATH hosts Christmas in the Neighborhood.

“This is a way to provide toys and food for an entire family. We have 138 applicants that need sponsors,” said Becky Duncan, community outreach coordinator.

Any group, individual or family interested in hosting a family should contact PATH at (903) 597-4044.

Also, any group, individual or family looking to help The Salvation Army should contact Lori Nelson-Pallex at (903) 592-4361, (903) 570-9413 or lori_nelson@uss.salvationarmytyler.org.

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