Local News

Local charities short thousands of donated gifts for children

Posted December 11, 2012

— With its Christmas gift distribution a week away, the Salvation Army of Wake County said Tuesday that it is still short donations needed to fulfill the holiday wishes for more than 2,000 children in need.

"With the holidays, you just have to believe in miracles," Haven Sink, the charity's director of public relations, said. "At this point, we're kind of hoping for that miracle."

Sink said that, this year, there are more than 8,700 children in the Salvation Army's local Angel Tree program – about 900 more than last year.

Volunteers still need new toys and clothing, especially for children ages 8-12.

It's a similar challenge for the Durham Rescue Mission, which is in need of 12,000 new, unwrapped toys for its Annual Christmas Community Toy Giveaway.

"(Donations have) been less this year," the mission's chief executive officer, Rob Tart, said. "We've got probably a third of where we want to be.

Both charities are taking donations until next week.

Local charities short thousands of donated gifts for children Local charities short thousands of donated gifts for children

For the Salvation Army, donations can be made online or dropped off until Dec. 19 at the Salvation Army's Toy Shop Warehouse, at 2116-D New Bern Ave. in Raleigh.

An Angel Tree with the names and wish lists of children is also still up at Crabtree Valley Mall.

Donations to the Durham Rescue Mission can be dropped off at the mission's 1201 E. Main St. or 507 E. Knox St. campuses, and Walmart stores in Durham, Hillsborough and Roxboro are holding toy drives on Dec. 15.

They can also be dropped off at Mark Jacobson Toyota on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard in Durham until Dec. 17.

The Salvation Army is also hoping to see an increase in Red Kettle donations, which will help pay for any gifts still needed after the gift drive ends Wednesday.

Kettles are located across Wake County, including Walmart stores, Harris Teeter stores, North Hills shopping center, Triangle Town Center and Cary Towne Center.


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  • mindybethmiazga Dec 13, 2012

    m a mother of seven children, three of whom are disabled. My husband is underemployed and most weeks, we can barely put food on the table. I sought help from the Salvation Army one year. You would think that people would be grateful for the help, but almost every other person in line (there was a line and the wait was an hour or more on a freezing cold day) was grumbling about the line and the things that they received and that the gift card from Food Lion was only $10.

    There are many who will have nothing for Christmas, but this society is "entitlement" driven and unless there are game systems and ipods, ipads etc..., people are unhappy.

  • Melarie Dec 12, 2012

    It is amazing how many people have taken advantage of charities that people do not want to donate. It is sad but true I know alot of people who can afford to buy their kids gifts but would rather sigh them up for some charity so they can keep their money so sick. I will be giving to a friend of our children who I know needs the help

  • heremeaj Dec 12, 2012


    Don't give up, call resources for Seniors or whoever runs the "Friendly Visitor" program as it was called then. They matched me up with someone just like you described and we had years of adventure and friendship before she died. Your intentions are too good to be sacrificed to a govt worker who is just holding air space.

  • working for deadbeats Dec 12, 2012

    Welcome to the Obama economy. Sorry, Obama needs our money for his good deeds more than you kids.

  • bubbasu1 Dec 12, 2012

    I am a 62 yr old widow. A couple of weeks ago I contacted Home Instead Senior home care after reading of ( in an article on WRAL.com) their request for items for those they care for.I was asking if they had any clients in the area where I live, someone that had no family or no one that vistied them.I asked if they would provide a list of some items the senior would need and I would get them and would like to visit the senior on a regular basis . I thought it would be a nice thing to do for someone all alone. To date I have not heard back from them!

  • storchheim Dec 12, 2012

    heremeaj, it's true children don't understand what's not quite right to ask strangers for when you're on charity, but the parents sure do, and they don't bother to edit the list. Perhaps being turned away for that reason would make a point with them.

  • heremeaj Dec 12, 2012

    Children have no idea what the real "ask" is for expensive gaming equipment,Ipods, etc. They just want what they see everybody else have and that is understandable. Even if you did give something like an Ipod they do not understand that they would have to have a computer, pay to download music, etc. Most of their parents can't/won't do those things even if the Ipod is given so it would be a wasted effort to give anything that would require other expensive equipment or assume that the family has a computer or would spend money on song downloads or games. Sad, but a gift needs to be able to be "complete" and whole with no other add ons after the child gets it. The biggest gap in toy donations is anything for 8 - 12 year olds. Most people give for little kids and ignore the older ones. Hard to find things they like that are not the expensive electronics- Think what YOUR kids and grandkids that age want - the same things the charity kids want.

  • heremeaj Dec 12, 2012

    Charitynavigator.org is a great website that tells you HOW a charity spends money-how much actually goes to the recipients vs. administrative costs. The Salvation Army is right at the top of charities who spend almost nothing on salaries and administrative and almost all money given on the recipients. My father was a board member for many years and he was always amazed at the integrity of the organization when other charities were paying out huge salaries and in fact more closely resembled private companies with lavish living for those at the top. We all need to understand who we are giving our resources to and that everyone with a sad story or picture of a child is not responsible or trustworthy.

    I worked for years as a volunteer helping when the parents came to pick up the Angel Tree gifts. Most burst into tears and thank God that their children were chosen off the Angel tree. And the Salvation Army Angel tree does NOT list aNYTHING but clothing/shoes size

  • OneLove Dec 12, 2012

    Is there some sort of "qualifying" procedure to verify the need? I personally know of a family who signs up every year and actually could do it on their own....but WHY DO THAT?

  • HopingForABetterWorld Dec 12, 2012

    Bad economy aside, I think these charities need to realize that many people who want to help will not help because of frustrations that are happening the last few years. Many people have received angels requesting game systems, ipods, etc. Those are terrible angel requests. Food, clothing, small games, etc. should be on the angels. If you must request help from others, request help on the basics that are required.
    Also, some people have commented about dropping off their gifts and discovering rooms almost full of presents. Those families clearly don't need more assistance.
    People are abusing the generosity of others, and it's making generous people be less generous. It stinks for the truly needy. I hope the charities will all revisit their screening process and put some rules in effect, so the generous can do so without wondering if they are being scammed.