Holiday

Salvation Army holiday program competing with disasters for donations

Posted December 12, 2016

— Donations to those hit by natural disasters has made it harder for the Salvation Army to fulfill all of the requests it has from families in need this holiday season.

Although fewer people signed up for assistance this year through the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program – about 7,100 compared with more than 8,000 last year – many people gave to the relief efforts following Hurricane Matthew and wildfires in the North Carolina and Tennessee mountains and might not have the resources to give more now.

Still, the Salvation Army continues working to fulfill the holiday needs of thousands of children. All of the angels on the tree at Cary Town Center were adopted by Saturday, but nine remained on the tree at Crabtree Valley Mall as of Monday evening.

Malika McPhearson plucked one off the tree on Monday.

"I'm going to look around the mall and see what I can find for this little girl that's about to be 2," McPhearson said. "I've always wanted to give back, and giving back is something that's passionate in my heart."

Rachel Downey said she had just finished shopping for two little girls her Meredith College students sponsored.

"It's just that opportunity to give back at Christmas time and make a difference in our community," Downey said.

The clothes and other donations are taken to a local warehouse, where Salvation Army volunteers fold, box and organize everything.

"It can be very hectic. We are going to be running nonstop. We want to make sure these families have everything ready for Christmas," said Margaux Austin, volunteer and resource coordinator for the Salvation Army. "Brand new clothing that fits a child that enables them to stay warm, the socks, the shoes, the coat, the gloves – that's really going to be a wonderful addition to a family."

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