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Nearly 1,000 Tulsa Area Residents Register For Salvation Army Christmas Assistance

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Nearly 1,000 people stood in line for hours Monday to get holiday help from the Salvation Army. Monday was the first day Tulsa families could register for Christmas assistance. Nearly 1,000 people stood in line for hours Monday to get holiday help from the Salvation Army. Monday was the first day Tulsa families could register for Christmas assistance.
In 2008, the Salvation Army provided Christmas toys to 4,000 Tulsa families. They're expecting 5,000 families to sign up for toys and food this year. That's an increase of 25 percent. In 2008, the Salvation Army provided Christmas toys to 4,000 Tulsa families. They're expecting 5,000 families to sign up for toys and food this year. That's an increase of 25 percent.

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Nearly 1,000 people stood in line for hours on Monday outside the Salvation Army Joy Center at 7152 East 38th Street to get holiday help.

Monday was the first day Tulsa families could register for Christmas assistance. The Salvation Army says it is expecting a double-digit increase in applications this year.

Dianna Kramer was up at dawn to get her kids ready for school and then she drove to the Salvation Army because she needs help giving her kids a Merry Christmas. It's the first time she has ever turned to the Salvation Army.

"I'm surprised at how many people are here. I didn't realize the economy had affected this many people this year," said Dianna Kramer, a Tulsa mom.

"Numbers that we've seen from January through today have been significantly up," said Major Kathy Williams, Salvation Army Commander.

In 2008, the Salvation Army provided Christmas toys to 4,000 Tulsa families. They're expecting 5,000 families to sign up for toys and food this year. That's an increase of 25 percent.

"I believe it's job loss or just actually working a basic minimum wage job, where they're lucky to put food on the table and have a roof overhead," said Major Kathy Williams.

Kramer fell behind on her bills late last year. It took her nine months to find a fulltime job.

"I went from not working, to working. I was a stay at home mom fulltime and now I work fulltime," said Dianna Kramer.

At times, the line for help stretched for several football fields. For many people, Monday was the first time they've turned to the Salvation Army for help.

Charis Albertie says she is asking for help because her bills keep getting more expensive, despite the recession.

"It's very difficult paying the bills. I have to pay gas and electric, and I can barely afford it, my gas has been cut off twice," said Charis Albertie who is unemployed.

But like a thousand other men and women braving the cold, Albertie is in need of some holiday help.

"If I didn't come down here and stand in this line, we wouldn't have a Christmas," said Charis Albertie.

Families can sign up for Christmas assistance for the next two weeks. The Salvation Army will provide a toy for each child, clothes and a food basket.

Salvation Army Christmas Assistance Sign-Up Information

  • Location
    • Salvation Army Joy Center, 7152 East 38th Street
  • Dates, Times
    • October 26 - October 30   9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
      November 2 - November 7   9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Special Instructions
    • Parents must be able to show proof of guardianship. Bring your child's birth certificate. Also, no children are allowed at the sign-up.

If you'd like to help out a family in need, the annual Angel Tree Campaign will begin late November at both of Tulsa's malls.

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