How does one organization provide assistance to more than 70,000 individuals during the holiday season? Only with the help of more than 1,000 volunteers.

Each year, the Salvation Army coordinates a variety of Christmas assistance programs for the needy. Angel trees and red kettles are a familiar sight during the holidays, and neither would be possible without volunteers.

The Salvation Army starts by establishing which individuals need assistance. Volunteers interview potential clients to determine their eligibility and needs – children’s clothing sizes and any special Christmas wishes they may have.

Next, it’s time to start collecting the gifts. Volunteers, including local Rotary Clubs and other groups, host Angel Tree displays at area shopping malls. These volunteers help shoppers select “angels” and then collect the toys and other gifts they purchase. Other volunteers complete the process by sorting and distributing the gifts.

The Salvation Army still needs volunteers this month to help with each of these projects. Volunteers are needed especially to sort gifts through Dec. 19 and to distribute gifts Dec. 17-23.

Volunteers also are needed to adopt kettles and accept donations through Dec. 24. For more information on these and other volunteer opportunities, call the Volunteer Center of Dallas County at 214-826-6767.

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