The Salvation Army Rescues Christmas for Thousands of Families in Anchorage
Just two days before Christmas, Salvation Army staff and volunteers finished with the annual Anchorage GIFT distribution providing needy families in the Anchorage area with food boxes and gifts for children. The event lasted four days longer than usual, taking place December 17-19 and December 21-23, in order to serve thousands of Anchorage area families. Over 10,000 gifts were provided to children ages 0 -14 years old.
Most toys distributed to families were donated by individuals and companies through the U.S. Marine Toys for Tots and The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree programs. Local company, Alaska Waste made a generous donation of 50 brand new bicycles with helmets to the event. The bicycles were distributed at random to families who applied to received Christmas gift assistance for their children.
“We’re so happy we were able to donate bikes to the Salvation Army for a second year. Usually our teams get together to build the bikes - and though this year was a little different, with folks building bikes at home – the end result is the same spirit of giving embodied by our Christmas Promise Bike Build,” said Laurel Andrews, Alaska Waste community outreach specialist. “We know many families can use extra support this year. We’re honored to help however we can. Thank you to the Salvation Army for being such a great partner and for supporting for our communities.”
Longtime Salvation Army supporter, Matson, Inc. provided a gift-in-kind of free shipping to send over 10,000 pounds of materials from Tacoma, Washington to Anchorage, Alaska for the annual distribution.
“Matson is pleased to support the Salvation Army’s annual GIFT program. This year, the level of need is high, and it is more important than ever that the community comes together to help one another. We are thankful for the Salvation Army’s staff and other community members that made the GIFT program possible,” stated Bal Dreyfus, Senior Vice President of Alaska, Matson, Inc.
“The Salvation Army is extremely grateful for the shipping received from Matson this year and the support we have received from the company and staff over the past several years,” said Captain Denice Delgado, Associate Social Services Director for The Salvation Army in Anchorage. “Without our community supporters like Matson and Alaska Waste, The Salvation Army would have a much harder time providing basic needs and spreading Christmas joy to families in the most need.”