Christmas is now less than two months away, which means programs to help needy families in the Tri-State are in full swing.
Registration for the Salvation Army's Toy Shop begins Thursday night in Newport and will continue in various communities around the Tri-State through Nov. 3. Find the whole list of locations at the website here.
Parents must apply in person with a photo IDs for the entire household, proof of address and proof of the dates of birth for all children.
Last year, the toy shop gave about 1,700 families the opportunity to provide their children with a Christmas gift. Some of the gifts are donated from the Marines' "Toys for Tots" program.
"It could be a grandmother who is now raising her grandkids. It could be a mother and father who are both working but because of expenses and low wages, they're barely making it month by month," said Major Everett Henry of the Salvation Army. "We're able to come alongside the parents and provide them what they need so their kids wake up Christmas morning and there is something under the tree. That's the ultimate goal, we don't want any child to wake up and think that Santa has forgotten them."
Of course, the familiar red kettles will also soon begin appearing around the region. Last year's Red Kettle campaign raised about $750,000 to help provide needy families with food, rent money and emergency shelter.
The Salvation Army also offers an "Adopt-A-Family" program. Find more information here.