Salvation Army meets increased gift demand, calls it a miracle

Posted December 18, 2012
Updated December 19, 2012

— The Salvation Army is calling the recent influx of donations to meet the holiday wishes of more than 2,000 children in need a Christmas miracle.

This time last week, the charity was short on donations for the 8,700 children in the Salvation Army's local Angel Tree program, which was up from last year by 900 children.

"Last week, we looked around and saw that almost 2,000 children had not been adopted from our Angel Tree," said Haven Sink, director of public relations for the local Salvation Army. "We needed clothing for about 2,000 children and tons of toys. We really did believe that a miracle could happen and sure enough, it did."

On Tuesday, the charity opened its doors to all the 4,000 registered Wake County families for the first day of gift pick-up, which continues through Thursday.

Nini Upchurch turned to the charity in October when she realized she needed help providing Christmas gifts for her three children this year. 

"(It) makes you feel nervous, but I'm here today. I've been out here since 8:30 this morning," Upchurch said outside the Salvation Army's Christmas warehouse on New Bern Avenue Tuesday. "(I'm getting) baby dolls for my little girl, bikes and basketball, football my little boy." Salvation Army donations Salvation Army meets increased gift demand

Sink said a number of the last-minute donations came in online, which allowed her staff to go shopping for necessary items. 

"We really didn't know how this would happen, but people really stepped up, in the spirit of giving," she said, adding that the gift pick-up days are almost exciting as Christmas itself. 

"We are just looking forward to this day all year, just to see the smiles on parents' faces when they pick out those toys for their kids for Christmas."


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  • Ernest T Dec 19, 2012

    I thank God how blessed my family and I are. We work hard every day, have a roof over our heads, and food in our cabinets. But wouldn't it be nice if the "truly" needy could receive greater blessings and generosity of their neighbor instead of diluted down stock.

    Didn't anyone notice the story on WRAL? I saw some nicely dressed folks and many cell phones in that line. Unfortunately, we encourage laziness and dependance on others in this country by begging folks to take "charity". There is a fine line between laziness and poverty. We've forgotten the meaning here in America.

    Teach a man to fish and he'll feed his family. Give a man a fish and he'll come running to your trough every time. That way, he can buy iPhones, Playstations, and big Plasma screen TVs for himself. What a country!

  • TimeWillTell Dec 19, 2012

    Some people clearly live in their own little private hades and try to drag other people in with them by dumping their bile on stories of charity.

    My family and I have been blessed with good health and employment this year, so we donated significantly to Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, and Western Wake Ministries.

    Anderson, I hope things improve for you. Best wishes for new year.

  • working for deadbeats Dec 19, 2012

    I brought some nice furniture to the SA once, but they turned me away. Why? Because it was drizzling for a few minutes before I got there and they wouldn't take it even after I offered to wipe it down. I took the furniture to the landfill. Ya...never giving anything to them again.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Dec 19, 2012

    With such low standards for miracles, it's no wonder that so many people believe in them.

    IMO, a miracle would be that no children would starve to death today, but tomorrow would be business as usual. (Currently, 30,000 children starve to death on earth every day.) Or, no children deaths, at all, occurred on planet earth for exactly one day.

    These items seem to rise to the level of supernatural intervention. Everything else is just humans organizing to make something a priority.

  • sendusmessage Dec 19, 2012

    Good news indeed!

  • whatdidusay Dec 19, 2012

    Where is the Breaking News article on the "paid" Salvation Army worker stealing money from the Kettle? Tell all the news not just part of it WRAL

  • jahudson Dec 19, 2012

    Love to see stories like this. It is nice to see folks helping others.

  • iknowjack Dec 19, 2012

    No, it was a newspaper article. Nonetheless, a great effort by the Army and all the many donors.

  • whatelseisnew Dec 19, 2012

    to each their own. I donate for things like food and clothing. I will not donate for toys. As it is I can not donate the same amount next year as this year, so to me the focus should be on NEEDS not wants.

  • anderson Dec 19, 2012

    Good to see there are enough people who can still afford to give. My wife and I have had enough trouble having a Christmas for our three girls this year...everything is going up except paychecks. I used to do the Christmas trees and such at the malls but can't afford it anymore...I really enjoyed doing it, but like many others, it's all I can do to take care of my family with bills and food and gas and clothes and a few presents.