Raleigh, N.C. — With its Christmas gift distribution only one week away, the Salvation Army of Wake County said Monday that it still about 6,000 toys short.
Organizers said 3,600 families signed up for the group's Angel Tree Program this year. That's an increase of 500 children since last year.
The charity said it would tap into red kettle donations to buy gifts, but only if they have to.
"The more material donations that we get, the more of those kettle donations that we can use throughout the year to meet the needs of even more families," Salvation Army spokeswoman Haven Sink said.
Red kettle donations throughout the county are also suffering – down 9 percent from this time in 2010.
In an attempt to increase donations, the Salvation Army has added Quick Response codes to all of its Wake County kettles, allowing individuals to give with their mobile devices instead of with cash or coins.
Red kettles are located at all Walmart and Harris Teeter locations in Wake County, as well as at North Hills Shopping Center, Triangle Town Center and Cary Towne Center.
Organizers at the Durham Rescue Mission said Monday that donations are picking up but they are still 4,000 toys short.
"I am very concerned, but I have seen in the past that when the word gets out that there are a lot of good people in Durham," Durham Rescue Mission CEO Ernie Mills said. "They always meet the need."
Two weeks ago, they only had 15 toys. After a WRAL News story aired, the mission collected about 2,000 toys, organizers said.