Jackson County's Salvation Army faces shortage of toys, volunteers, donations for the holiday season

The organization says it needs to raise $170,000 by Christmas, but still is short on volunteers to help raise that money.

Posted: Dec 13, 2019 12:24 PM
Updated: Dec 13, 2019 4:42 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — The Salvation Army's Jackson County chapter is falling short of its goals for donations to serve those in need this year. The organization says that it still needs volunteers, thousands of toys, and about $84,000 in funds before the end of this particularly short holiday season.

“We are so grateful for the community’s support throughout the year, and right now, we are asking that everyone dig a little deeper and give a nickel, quarter, dollar or more at the next kettle they see,” said Major Jason Koenig, Jackson County coordinator for the Salvation Army. “Your donations can literally change lives and without it, we will be faced with some difficult decisions that we don’t want to have to make – which services and opportunities we will have to cut to make up for the loss in kettle income.”

The funds raised by bell-ringers allow the Salvation Army in Jackson County to fund food and social service assistance, HOPE House transitional programs, and youth programs. The organization's goal this year was to raise $170,000, but by Thursday it had only received about half of that.

"If the donations don’t meet the growing need and costs, The Salvation Army will be forced to make the tough decision of what to cut back on," the organization said.

SEASON FOR SHARING: Find out what you can do to help those in need this holiday season.

Part of the issue has been a lack of volunteers to ring the bells. While they would ideally have people at 30 locations every day throughout Jackson County, the Salvation Army says that it has only been able to fill about 18 of those locations with paid bell-ringers.

"The more volunteer bell ringers means the more funds to be used in direct service for our community programs," the Salvation Army said. That money could be used to purchase food gift cards, toys not provided through in-kind donations, and emergency assistance to those in need throughout the year.

The Salvation Army also strives to provide at least three presents each to about 2,000 children in need throughout Jackson County. However, the organization says that donations have been down this year, and it is still short on about 3,500 toys — particularly for adolescents or teens.

"We need these toys by Tuesday, December 17, 2019 in order to be ready for our Distribution day," the Salvation Army said.

If you would like to do something to help kids in need by dropping off gifts at any of the Season for Sharing locations, a list of toys and other items that are particularly scarce this year may be found below.

 Boys 9-12

  • Nerf Guns
  • Bows & Arrows
  • RC Cars
  • Drones (inexpensive ones)
  • Model Car/Airplane Kits
  • STEM Kits/Robotics
  • Advance Board Games (Scavenger Hunt, RISK, Stratego, Battleship, etc..)

Girls 9-12

  • Advanced Arts & crafts Sets
  • Nerf Guns
  • Bow & Arrows
  • Drones
  • Model Car/Airplane Kits
  • RC Cars
  • STEM Kits/Robotics
  • American Girl Dolls & Accessories (Well Wishers, 18 inch Dolls)
  • Advance Board Games (See Above)

Teen-Agers 13-18

  • Clothes, Shoes (Vans, Converse)
  • Gift Cards for Movies, Go-Karting, Family Fun Center Gift Cards for Ice Skating, Bowling, Gift Cards to Laser Tag, Escape Rooms,
  • Cologne/Perfume Sets
  • Beanies/Hoodies
  • Watches
  • Wallets/Purses
  • Anime—Everything
  • Plush Blankets
  • Vinyl Pop Figures
  • Skateboards
  • Scooters
  • Bicycles (24-27/29 inch)—mode of transportation
  • Gaming Headsets
  • Warm Clothing for Teens
  • Sports Equipment
  • Pokemon Cards
  • Gameboards for Teens
  • Books

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