WAUSAU – Final signup for Marathon County residents to receive Christmas help is Nov. 8-10 at The Salvation Army in Wausau. The Toy Shop Christmas Assistance Program provides food for families and Christmas gifts for children ages newborn to 14 for families struggling financially.

Last year, the program served 535 families. Salvation Army officials anticipate serving a similar number of families this year, so preparedness is critical.

“We are urging parents and legal guardians: Please do not wait until the last minute to sign up,” said Colleen Hilber, Community Outreach Coordinator. “Signing up now means your child is more likely to receive the items on (his or her) wish list because we can create specific item gift tags on our Angel Trees set up in area businesses. People take those tags from a tree, purchase the items and return them to that particular business.”

To set an appointment to sign up, call 715-845-4272 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. through Friday.

Evening hours to 6:30 p.m. are available on Nov. 9 to accommodate families who cannot signup during the day. If families cannot sign up between Nov. 8-10, call immediately to schedule an appointment.

A parent or legal guardian must sign-up in person at The Salvation Army’s Family Services Building at 202 Callon St. A photo ID is required for every adult in the household; IDs for all children, which may include a school ID, birth certificate, or a social security card; proof of one month’s income; an item of mail that shows the household name and address; and three gift ideas and clothing sizes for each child.

Private donations and the annual Toys for Tots campaign provides the toys for the program.

Clothing and gift items will be pre-bagged by staff and volunteers. Distribution will occur in mid December via drive-through at The Salvation Army Church and Community Center, 103 S. Second Ave, in Wausau.

Volunteers are needed to help set up the Toy Shop, restock shelves, bag items for families, and to help with distribution and boxing of any leftover toys. Call 715-845-4272 to volunteer to help.

Visit sawausau.org for detailed information about programs and services.