The charity group is accepting applications for assistance from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, and Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Tracy Community Center, 400 E. 10th St.
The food and toy drive gives families that meet low-income requirements a 30-pound box of food, a turkey and toys for children 13 years old and younger.
Steve Abercrombie, Brighter Christmas program director, said the charity helped more than 800 families and 1,750 children in 2012, and this year’s numbers could be higher.
“The economy has not turned around enough yet and Interfaith Ministries has lost about $25,000 in funds since last year,” Abercrombie said.
He expects that Brighter Christmas will have to pick up the families usually served by Tracy Interfaith Ministries.
More than 40 volunteers will help residents fill out applications Friday and Saturday to receive Brighter Christmas help. Abercrombie said applicants must take the following items to apply:
• Photo identification
• Verification of children's ages — such as birth certificates or Social Security cards
• Proof of income, such as a pay stub or a paper showing the amount of income assistance the applicant receives
• Proof of rent or mortgage payment
• Current Pacific Gas & Electric Co. bill
Abercrombie said that because a large number of people are expected to apply, applicants without the required paperwork will not be allowed into the community center.
Tracy Brighter Christmas still needs volunteers for the two-day application process. Abercrombie said that people interested in helping can go to a volunteer orientation meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the St. Paul's Lutheran Church community room, 1635 Chester Drive. Spanish-speaking volunteers are also needed to help applicants fill out the forms.
People who want to volunteer but are unable to attend the meeting can go to the website www.tracybrighterchristmas.com and contact Abercrombie about helping during the application process.
Abercrombie stressed patience to those planning to apply.
“Be patient, we will get to everyone, and remember you must bring the information. We are going to be very strict about that,” he said.
The Brighter Christmas application is the first step leading the distribution of food boxes and toys to needy families on Dec. 22.
• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or email@example.com.