Thousands to seek Christmas help from Wake Salvation Army

Posted October 25, 2010
Updated November 17, 2010

— Christmas is still a few months away. However, the Salvation Army is already getting ready to serve those less fortunate.

The Wake County Salvation Army began taking applications Monday from families who want to be part of the Angel Tree program, which provides Christmas gifts for children. 

By the end of the day, 611 families, including 1,511 children, signed up for the program, and the Salvation Army predicts that more families than ever will need their help this year. Of those, 172 families registered for the first time.

Single mother Shannon Signal was in line Monday. She works part-time and has four boys, ages 10, 9, 7 and 6.

Thousands to seek Christmas help from Wake Salvation Army Thousands to seek Christmas help from Wake Salvation Army

"Hard times right now," she said. "I'm not working enough to give my kids Christmas this year."

The Salvation Army said it expects 6,000 children to participate in Wake County alone, which is about 1,000 more than last year and 2,000 more than the year before.

Each year, sponsors place Angel Trees in high-traffic areas in their communities, organizations and offices. Contributors remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase appropriate gifts for the child or children described on the tags.

Last year, the Salvation Army had to go out and purchase toys at the last minute, because they were running low and corporate donations were down because of the economy. This year, they hope to meet the growing need.

“They’ve blessed us every year for the last two years with beautiful Christmas gifts for those who really can’t afford to buy a lot for their children,” said applicant Elaine McGilveary.

Once inside, applicants must show some form of identification and proof that they have children and live in Wake County. There are no income requirements or proof of citizenship. People can come out all this week to register between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Saturday 9 to 11 a.m.

“I interviewed a client (who) was here at 3:30 this morning to be early in line,” said Major Pete Costas with the Salvation Army. “It just shows that the people really need help, and they are willing to do anything to get the help that they need for their children.”


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  • 2alegal Nov 2, 2010

    tud81 - get with me. I will be glad to assist you and your family.

    I agree with most of the posts here. I always got a name from one tree until I learned that the same name was on several trees! When questioned, I was told that was because the organizers wanted to make sure someone bought for that name!. Nowdays, I do my own searching. Elderly, families etc.

  • honestyisthebest Oct 29, 2010

    Bronzegoddness40, That is true they may have of purchased the items prior to not being employed, and yes they can go to the beauty school, but they will not get the fancy hair or nails, I speak from experience from being a student, when I see clothing and shoes that have just hit the market I know there is no way at all they bought it in the past. As far as not judging people arent you doing that too by stating "and no one does it better than folks here on GOLO."

  • Starlight Lady Oct 28, 2010

    I try to get an angel every year, if not from the SA then from the foster kid tree. I also try to adopt an elderly or mentally handicapped adult. I look for very young children, 2-3, they never ask for much. I try to get clothes and one toy. Every child deserves a toy at Christmas. I let God or whoever is up there be the judge. I won't stain my soul with greed. Although, since there were no income checks, I may seek out the foster kid tree this year. They don't have their families and I think the risk of fraud it less.

  • bmg379 Oct 26, 2010

    Yes ,I agree with your statement about the elderly.They deserve better than what ssi gives them with hi drug costs.

    Christmas is about our savior jesus,not about santa claus and un necessary toys

    spend christmas day in a rest home with your kids and bring joy to an older persona life

  • 2BHonest Oct 26, 2010

    Apologies for the typo below

  • 2BHonest Oct 26, 2010

    An alternative to this program is contacting your county's social services for the elderly. A few years ago, I learned of a program to provide blankets to the elderly. Unfortunately, due to prescription drug costs, there are elderly people going without basic necessities to afford their life-saving/preserving medications. Harnett County has an assistance program that collects blankets, shampoo, toilet paper, deodorant and the like for the elderly. Social Services distributes the items to those in NEED.
    I agree, children do deserve a happy Christmas, but let's not forget the elderly. Without them, none of use would be here. There are many programs for families with children, not so many for the elderly.

  • bronzegoddess40 Oct 26, 2010

    I did not know that wearing torn clothes and being dirty and unkempt was a description of being poor or without. Do you all not realize that somebody people may be laid off from their job and they may already have a car or that they are able to get their hair and nails done by going to the beauty schools where it is done for little or nothing or "gasp" they may be able to do it themselves. Perhaps we should not be so quick to judge by appearances and no one does it better than folks here on GOLO.

  • AngryJim Oct 26, 2010

    So, which is it WRAL? Is there an income cap for the program or not? Seems to me that this is just another program for the looters. Maybe if they got up at 3 am to go look for a job, they wouldn't need it.

  • lilybugs2 Oct 25, 2010

    Well said ladybug008- I will get an angel this year, I do every year because it is not the kids faults. But it just drives me CRAZY when I see people with expensive hair dos, etc. And I do believe everyone has the right to look their best, but not to the point they have nicer things then they people they are expecting to pay for their kids Xmas

  • honestyisthebest Oct 25, 2010

    Well said Turtledove