PORT RICHEY — Continuing its tradition of offering help and hope to needy men, women and children in Pasco County, the Salvation Army is seeking assistance for its Angel Tree and Holiday Food Box program.
According to Jeanne Coulter, development coordinator, there are still 165 angels hanging on the Angel Tree at Gulfview Square mall, on U.S. 19 in Port Richey.
The Angel Tree program asks shoppers to select an angel ornament with the first name, age, sex and needs of a child, and then purchase gifts for that child at local stores.
"The parents fill out the information with what the children, ages newborn through age 12, want for toys, their sizes and their favorite color," Coulter said.
The gifts have to be returned to the mall by Dec. 14. The Angel Tree is at the north end of the mall, by the Sam Seltzer's entrance.
Last year there were 615 angels and this year there are 633.
The Holiday Food Box program provides a canned ham, 10 to 15 pound turkey, stuffing mix, gravy, cranberry sauce, canned fruit, yams/sweet potatoes, instant potatoes, corn, green beans, and macaroni and cheese.
Boxes contain enough to feed a family of four and can be purchased for $30 each for the 365 families this year.
Donations can be mailed to or dropped off at the Center of Hope, 8040 Washington St., Port Richey, FL 34668.
Volunteers are ready to fill out a box, or boxes can be picked up at the center for people to take home and fill. The filled boxes must be returned to the center by Dec. 15.
Two hundred turkeys and 57 hams are still needed.
The Salvation Army's bell ringers are out at 18 locations in Pasco County.
"They are doing good," Coulter said.
"We must extend a hand of hope to those who reach out (for help), especially during this season of giving."