Local charity donation counts dire as Christmas nears

Posted November 28, 2011
Updated November 29, 2011

— The economy may be on the slow march to recovery, but holiday seasons continue to come, year after year, with an increasing need for charity and steadily dwindling donations.

Toy donations were trickling into Salvation Army's warehouse in Raleigh Monday, but the charity was nowhere near filling boxes of donated goods for the 3,600 families it will serve this Christmas.

"It is tough being two or three weeks away from distribution and you look around the warehouse, and it's empty," said Salvation Army spokeswoman Haven Sink.

In order to give each child two or three gifts, the Salvation Army needs to collect 24,000 toys in the next two weeks.

The situation is also dire at Durham Rescue Mission, CEO Ernie Mills said.

"Right now we only have about 15 toys at the Rescue Mission," he said.

Christmas toy drive Christmas donations down at local charities

That means the mission needs to collect 12,000 toys in less than month to meet its donation goals.

Now, more than ever, Mills said, needy families rely on the gifts of charity.

"I am finding so many people who are coming to us who have lost hope. They look for jobs time and time again, and all they hear is 'No jobs, no jobs, no jobs,'" Mills said.

The gifts cannot fix a family's economic strain, but they can bring a little holiday cheer to people who are hurting more than ever.

"That's one of the things that I live for – to see the excitement on kids' faces," Mills said.
Sink agreed.

"Having a gift to open on Christmas Day is more than just having a toy," Sink said. "It's having a moment of joy on Christmas morning to share with your family." 


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • extrablessingsnc Dec 7, 2011

    @memangum- go to salvation army of wake county website and click on the calendar on the left. Click on the distribution days on the calendar and it brings up information on how to volunteer for distribution days.

  • memangum Dec 6, 2011

    My 13 yo saw this story and asked that we donate new toys for his Christmas present. He has collected new toys and money for new toys. Left a message at the Wake Forest Rd. Salvation Army because his only request was to help on distribution day. Still haven't heard from them. My dining room is full of toys, you need to call us!!!

  • scotlandlover Nov 30, 2011

    My kids have been doing jobs around the house so they can give each other a present.After seeing this report,I'm going to ask that they use the money I give themfrom these chores to buy a toy for a child for Christmas.I know my kids Connery,Ross and Highland will be glad that they gave.They have big hearts!

  • storchheim Nov 29, 2011

    NCCarGuy, where do you think the govt gets the money to take care of them?

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Nov 29, 2011

    The government is more content than ever to take care of these people, time to let them.

  • storchheim Nov 29, 2011

    Going from place to place to collect multiple times is the same mentality that takes cash under the table while crying at the ER that you're unemployed. They know exactly what they're doing.

  • storchheim Nov 29, 2011

    Statick, it's not a bad lesson for kids to learn early: if you live in poverty, you don't get the PS3 and Xbox.

    Hey, my parents never bought me a pony or even riding lessons because they frittered my dad's earnings on mortgage, food, clothing, utilities, and education for us - and for themselves so they could get better jobs.

  • storchheim Nov 29, 2011

    Interesting about the Las Vegas ID requirement. Did the story say why? What are your thoughts? Mine was "to stop illegals from collecting", but not at all sure.

    Too many of "the needy" have an entitlement attitude bred into them from being privileged to "have" without earning. Perhaps we should consider them the privileged class.

    This year, I'm making my personal "needy" protege work for some Xmas cash, which I will direct him to spend on gifts for his family. I always buy him stuff anyway, so he won't do without. But he's old enough to understand 1) helping the old lady who could really use a hand on a couple of tasks; 2) money can be earned, not just direct-deposited from someone else's work; 3) what you have, you share. And unfortunately he's not learning this at home.

  • Starlight Lady Nov 29, 2011

    I used to get 2 angels from the SA angel tree every year and I'd buy one toy, one set of everyday clothes, and one set of dressy clothes for each, and maybe socks and underwear. I'm not sure I can afford it this year. Plus the story last year about the SA not having any guidelines for applying to the program (like income verification) it left a bad taste in my mouth. I am planning on several small things for Toys for Tots and I am looking into adopting a "grandparent". It's my good deed and if they are frauds and liars, it's on their soul not mine.

  • nashville Nov 29, 2011

    I'm done donating.Seen to me folks out there driving nicer cars, have all the electronic devices you can buy but when they go to the store they pull out that WIC card.