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Salvation Army kicks off "Christmas Cheer" sign-ups for needy families

The Salvation Army of Central Ohio is kicking off their "Christmas Cheer" program for needy families. Last year more than 6,000 families signed up to get a Christmas meal and gifts for children 14 and under. (WSYX/WTTE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Just as people are putting away the Halloween decorations, thoughts are turning to the holidays.

The Salvation Army of Central Ohio is kicking off their "Christmas Cheer" program for needy families. Last year more than 6,000 families signed up to get a Christmas meal and gifts for children 14 and under.

"It's heartbreaking. It is. Your heart really goes out to those individuals who have come in through our doors for that assistance," said Lt. Loreita Hinzman, with the Salvation Army. "My first thought, is what can we do, how can we serve them, what do they need and how can we restore any kind of hope or joy."

Angela Bolenbaugh came into the East Main Street headquarters for the first day of sign-ups on Monday. Bolenbaugh says she has four children and couldn't afford to buy much without some help.

"I was in a car accident years ago and now I am on disability, and my husband is a tow truck driver and he is just getting back to work. So, it is this time of year I need the help. I ask for it. I am not going to be afraid to be like I don't want to ask for it."

Bolenbaugh said she wants her children to feel like they are not forgotten.

"We know we have a meal on Christmas that we can make for the kids . We can have a good Christmas. We can all share together then is the biggest thing."

The Salvation Army said they appreciate all the help from donors last year, but are gearing up for more demand.

"We are always in need of volunteers. Last year we had over 2,000 volunteers that helped during the Christmas season , and it is those extra hands that make this possible."

To find out how to volunteer, donate, or how to get services, go to their website.

The last day to register is December 1 from 10:00 am to noon. You do not have show proof of need, but a picture identification card and proof of dependents with birth dates is required.

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