Editor's note: This story has been corrected to report that families may apply for assistance starting Monday, Oct. 29.
Next week the Salvation Army in Elkhart and Goshen will start accepting applications from families who would like to receive assistance this winter.
Each year the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program matches families experiencing financial hardship with individual or group sponsors to provide for their tangible needs at Christmas. When an Adopt-A-Family match is made, the family information and wish lists are sent to the sponsor.
Gifts may include toys, clothing, household items, payments on utilities or money to purchase wood or heating oil. Sponsors are asked to provide two or more new gifts for each member of the household and to provide food for the family during the week before Christmas.
The Salvation Army will also accept applications for Toys for Tots, a program that distributes new toys to children in the community who are less fortunate. Applicants who are not selected for the Adopt-A-Family program are typically re-directed to Toys for Tots.
To apply for assistance, Elkhart County residents may stop by the Elkhart Salvation Army from 9 to 11:45 a.m. or from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 29 through Nov. 2.
Elkhart applicants may also apply from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on any Monday in November (5, 12, 19, 26) and on Dec. 3. Those who work during the day may opt to apply from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
The Elkhart Salvation Army is at 300 N. Main St.
The Goshen Salvation Army, which serves residents of Goshen, New Paris and Millersburg, will accept applications on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between Oct. 30 and Nov. 29. Applications will be accepted from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays or from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The Goshen Salvation Army is at 1013 N. Main St.
Only a small portion of applicants are eligible for Adopt-a-Family, which is based on family size and whether a family has been adopted in the previous five years.
To be considered for adoption, applicants must bring a current Indiana photo ID, Social Security cards for each member of their household, birth certificates for all children age 14 and younger, proof of income (payroll stubs, TANF/Food Stamp printout and utility rebate, and any other expenses not listed) and proof of expenses (rent/mortgage receipt, utility bills-NIPSCO, AEP, water, phone, cable, Internet, car payment, car insurance and any other expenses not listed).
Those who are interested in receiving a Toys for Tots voucher or a Martin’s Super Market gift certificate instead of adoption should bring a current Indiana ID, Social Security cards for each member of their household and birth certificates for all children age 14 and younger. Adults without children in the household must provide some income verification to be eligible for a Martin’s gift certificate, which is only available through the Elkhart Salvation Army.
Once applicants submit their applications, they do not have the option of bringing in additional information later to be considered for adoption.