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Salvation Army in Santa Maria still in need of toys and volunteers

Volunteers at KSBY's Season of Hope partner Salvation Army in Santa Maria are putting together boxes of food and toys to support more than 500 families in Santa Barbara County.
Posted at 6:26 PM, Dec 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-16 22:45:52-05

Every family is set to receive a box of items that will go a long way during a time when high food prices are impacting community members.

“They are receiving non-perishable food items like rice, beans, canned goods like chili beans,” said Ana Juarez, a Santa Maria Salvation Army representative.

Salvation Army in Santa Maria serves the surrounding area including Guadalupe, Lompoc and Orcutt.

“We are preparing for 555 families, we still have 200 families on the waitlist,” said Ana Juarez.

The organization is preparing for its big distribution on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

“We like to give parents the privilege of being able to say that they got something for their child,” said Ana Juarez.

Families are also receiving clothes and toys and the need is still great.

“We are at about 60%, we have a lot of stocking stuffers but not big toys,” explained Ana Juarez. “We are mainly needing toys for young girls as well as teenagers. Our age group stops at 12.”

They are still looking for things like science kits, board games and gift cards.

You can also help by volunteering. Maria Juarez, Ana’s sister, has been volunteering for two years.

“It’s happiness in their face, you can see it because a lot of them don’t have the funds to give the gifts,” said Maria Juarez.

Volunteers are working long nights and early mornings to get everything ready to spread some holiday joy.

“We only have 15 or 20 volunteers, and we typically need 35 to 40 volunteers per segment because we do it by segments by hour,” said Ana Juarez.

Salvation Army in Santa Maria said monetary donations are also helpful because it allows them to purchase the toys or food items that are still needed.

To learn more about volunteering opportunities, click here.