Salvation Army prepares for holiday season

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — With Walmart moving away from their layaway program, Salvation Army stores are preparing for more traffic.

On Sept 28, 2021, Walmart decided to stop offering its layaway program which is very popular during the holiday season. With this option unavailable, staff at Salvation Army stores are anticipating more customers.

“With all the covid on the rise and prices increasing, and now we have heard that Walmart is no longer allowing layaways to take place, we are expecting a bigger increase,” said Captain Jane Smith with the Salvation Army in Princeton.

While taking on the added traffic, Captain Smith said they are being proactive and preparing for the holidays.

“There are prices going up everywhere, so with that, what happens is people have to seek other means to get assistance or to get some sort of subsidies for example for Christmas,” said Smith.

Salvation Army in Princeton will open up applications for their Angel Tree distribution services starting Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. The service collects gifts for parents whose families are in need. Smith said without layaway, this service could become much more useful.

“There’s nothing more that breaks your heart when you see a parent walking through your line to get gifts for her children and she cries and she said without this program we would have nothing,” said Smith.

Those in need of the service can make an appointment at the Salvation Army of Mercer County. To do so, they need to bring a photo ID, a proof of income, proof of expenses, birth certificate or medical card for children 12 and under, clothing sizes, and toy wish list for children 12 and under.

Anyone from Mercer, Monroe, Summers, Tazewell, and McDowell Counties can apply. Applications are by appointment, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. through October 22, 2021.

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