RICHMOND, Va. --The Salvation Army has an urgent need and officials are hoping the community can help.
Each year the organization helps about 2,500 families through their annual Christmas assistance program.
The program typically operates out of a large warehouse space that they transform into a Christmas center.
But this year, they don't have a space for the center, and time is of the essence. Workers spend months in the center sorting, organizing and displaying hundreds of coats donated to Puritan Cleaners through the Coats For Kids campaign.
The space is also a welcome sight for families who show up in December to pick up their children’s gifts and coats for the whole family.
“Close to 5,500 children participated in and experienced Christmas joy last year because of this Christmas Assistance Program. About 8,500 to nearly 9,000 individuals” organizer Matt Pochily said.
Each year, the need grows. Pochily says the race is on to find a space for their Christmas operations.
The space used for last year's Christmas center site isn’t available, according to Pochily, and the Salvation Army needs to be in a new location by October 1.
“We can work with whatever type of building it is as long as it’s 80,000 to 100,000 square feet and we can set up our Christmas operations," he said. "A donation is great, however, we are willing to lease this. We understand there are costs associated with it. We would like to be good partners and would be grateful to anyone who can help us."
Pochily adds that in a few weeks, the Christmas Assistance program will start setting appointments for families in Richmond and the Tri-Cities.
Salvation Army officials hope they can find a new location as soon as possible in order to stay on pace to address the needs of the community.
“We are not concerned about being able to provide our Christmas assistance program, we are concerned about the number of families we will be able to serve. If we have to scale back the size of the warehouse, we have to scale back the number of families we serve” Pochily said.
If you have a lead on a space that might accommodate the Salvation Army’s Christmas assistance program, please contact them at (804)-389-2944.