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— The Salvation Army in Russellville is already planning for the Christmas season, and with the documented increase in need, record numbers of requests for assistance are expected.

With the help of the community, including local businesses and Arkansas Tech University, more than 500 children received gifts last year.

For many of those children, the gifts were all that stood between a joyful holiday and a barren one.

The Salvation Army has extended the number of participating families from 300 to 350 for the coming season.

This number translates to between 700 and 800 children.

Food assistance for the holiday period is expected to rise as well.

Last year, 360 food boxes were given to people with needs in Pope, Yell and Conway counties.

The corps office at 1004 Weir Road will accept applications for Angel Tree assistance from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1-5 p.m. on Oct. 4-6, Oct. 11-13 and Nov. 3.

The cut-off number of participating families will be 350.

Applicants must present the following: picture IDs, a Social Security card for each household member (or a birth certificate for infants under 6 months old) and proof of household income, such as the last four paycheck stubsor an income statement from each person in the house who has income, including Social Security, disability, food stamps, child support, etc.

For more information, call Lt. Ashley Robinett at (479) 968-5358.

River Valley Ozark, Pages 151 on 09/25/2011

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