Christmas distribution at Burbank's Salvation Army

Israel Doria plays his instrument during a Christmas distribution, which took place at the Salvation Army in Burbank on Thursday, December 15, 2011. The Salvation Army is expecting over 1200 people during the distribution. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)

Hoping for a gift in this season of giving, about 30 needy people, mostly women, waited patiently for the doors to open at the Salvation Army near downtown Burbank Thursday morning.

Ana and Tony Tamayo of North Hollywood said they heard about the Salvation Army’s program to provide food and other items for Christmas through friends, and this year, they needed the extra assistance.

“We lost our apartment, we lost our jobs, we’re unemployed,” Tony Tamayo said in Spanish. “This helps us give something to our children.”

The giveaway has happened every year since the Salvation Army opened its doors in Burbank in 1957, said Lt. Kari Rudd.

Participants had an opportunity to pose for photos with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in front of a gingerbread house.

A few steps away in the auditorium, families lined up to receive a bike or tricycle and a box of food.

Three-year volunteer Ken Truitner of Burbank was busy wrapping turkeys and making sure the food boxes were ready to go.

About 400 boxes were already prepared, and Truitner said volunteers have been busy the last few weeks making the preparations.

“I see [the Salvation Army] as really an important part of helping people here in Burbank and in the region as well,” Truitner said.