Local News

Christmas-Assistance Program Being Abused

Posted November 20, 2007

— About 200 people have taken advantage of a holiday assistance program aimed to help families provide gifts for children this year.

That's according to the Salvation Army and Wake County Human Services, who are reaching out to about 6,000 families this year as part of the county's Holiday Cheer program.

Under its policy, however, families in need of assistance are only allowed to register with one of about a dozen agencies that participate in the program.

"We know that this was intentional, said Ashley Delamar, director of operations and communications of The Salvation Army of Wake County. "Obviously, you don’t' register for Christmas assistance for two different agencies by accident."

Although the Salvation Army has two tractor-trailers full of toys and gifts for children, Delamar said that families registering twice means others are left in need.

"If those 200 slots had been open, that's 200 new families in need that could have been assisted," he said.

For those who depend on the holiday-assistance programs, the news is tough for them to hear, they said.

"My children really wouldn't have had any Christmas if it wasn't for the Salvation Army," said Serita Faison, who has been a recipient of the service.

Delamar said that those caught abusing the system will not be allowed to use it next year.

"Our take on it is they're trying to maximize what they can receive on Christmas through the assistance that is available, and that's just wrong," he said. "That's misusing the system."


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  • denverbob26 Nov 22, 2007

    These people should be audited against all government programs and prosecuted for their fraud. This is why people are not giving to the few people in this area that are truely in need. Be careful with who you give money to, most are crooks.

  • TheeRichard Nov 22, 2007

    Lone Wolf, The good samaritan would be robbed and violated.

  • HEYGwenCOG Nov 22, 2007

    Maybe what's really important here is that so long as we live in a country where individual organizations lovingly and consistently reach out to those in need and receive nothing in return, there is hope for America.

    The Salvation Army has been around a long time and it is rare that when a community experiences a tragedy, that they aren't out among the victims doing what they can to ease their burden.

    Many persons do not know that the Salvation Army is a denomination of Christianity and hold church services on Sundays just like every other church. They just do something very different with the money their parishioners donate than other chuches do. While other churches are busily improving their sound systems, buying better organs and pianos, the Salvation Army has taken Jesus's admonition to "feed my sheep" seriously.

    They are truly Christ's representatives on earth.

  • ProudConservative2 Nov 21, 2007

    Trixie, I understand that there are people in bad situations, but you listen to the drive by media WAY too much. Doom and gloom. We have a thriving economy. Check the numbers, not your bleeding heart. Make a comment about the money spent on the war to make a point. Typical. These men and women are protecting the "right" to have these type of programs in America. You're really being silly.

  • ProudConservative2 Nov 21, 2007

    Carcrazy, the schools are no better. I know of families that have gone through the school as needy and come away with more than the other kids. SCAMMERS. Charity starts at home.

  • lornadoone Nov 21, 2007

    Instead of always giving to families, maybe donors should think about giving to senior adults. They also need help and it's a bit easier to pinpoint an actual need, because so much of the time, seniors are alone.

  • ncvaluer Nov 21, 2007

    WHAT???? Scaming, I'm shocked!!

  • Lone Voice in the Wilderness Nov 21, 2007

    I wonder what Jesus would say to us today. Maybe if it were up to us, the Good Samaritan would have simply turned his head & walked away.

  • CestLaVie Nov 21, 2007

    Thank you, mr_natural. I couldn't agree more.

    At my State gov't job here, we were recently reminded about getting a name from an angel tree. Part of the instructions included making sure everyone knew to turn in only newly-bought items and that the sales receipt was to be included inside the wrapped box. I thought, if gift suggestions and sizes are provided, why the sales receipt?? Could it be so they could turn it back in if it wasn't liked & a child wanted something else? Or so someone could get a cash refund?

    This doesn't feel right, so I've decided not to do anything. Many of your stories on this blog bear out my hesitation about this. As in most of life today, yesterday's values were best but are fading FAST.

  • NCMOMof3 Nov 21, 2007

    I try to help those in need all year long, not just at Christmas, although this time of year seems to bring out the "Christmas Spirit". When I look for people in need, I look locally. I look in my neighborhood, within my church, I ask my family and friends, and my children's teacher's. Chances are one or two of these people will know someone personally that is having a hard time. Someone that they can verify is truly in need and not just out there "milking the system". Also, a truly touching thing to do is adopt a grandparent. Contact a local nursing home and ask for a name or 2 of a resident that has no family and a list of the person's needs or likes and dislikes or dietary restrictions. Fix a nice basket and go visit this person. You want to see gratitude? You will truly get a blessing