With the winter holidays less than one month away, the Roxborough Salvation Army is working on its annual toy collection to help area families. Program assistant Marcella Cooper and her staff are confident that they will be able to have a successful holiday season even with the struggling economy.
“This year we’re actually not doing very bad at all,” said Cooper, who’s been at the Roxborough location at 6730 Ridge Ave. for six years. “We’ve been approached by a few companies who want to give us toys and want to do donations, we’ve been asked to send out collection boxes.”
Marcella Cooper of the Salvation Army said she expects her facility to help 300 families this year, up from the 200 she says benefited from donations six years ago.
The Roxborough Salvation Army provides a personal shopper who helps parents select toys that are most appropriate for their children. This is possible mostly because Cooper oversees a relatively small area–the 300 families she expects to assist are far fewer than the 1,200 or more she said other Salvation Armies attempt to help.
The holiday season is not just about toys, however, and the Salvation Army is trying to help families put a good holiday meal on the table as well.
“We’re very fortunate that our local supermarkets allow us to ring the bell in front of their store, and in turn we help them out by giving food cards to their businesses,” Cooper said. “Per family, we may be able to give $20 or $30 towards their Christmas meal.”
The Roxborough Salvation Army will have its Christmas distribution days on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21 and is accepting donations up until those days. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to call Marcella Cooper at 215-483-4120.
Josh Verlin is a student at Temple University. Philadelphia Neighborhoods, a NewsWorks content partner, is an initiative of the Temple Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.