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Website makes it easier to help needy children for Christmas

Posted December 2, 2014

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— Decembers are never easy for April Henry.

There's Christmas, the birthdays of her two older children, and now she has another birthday to worry about.

"My baby, she's on the 21st, so it's gonna be a little different this year for us," she said.

Henry turned to the Salvation Army of Wake County last year for help with toys.

This year, volunteers are already busy at a Raleigh warehouse. Over the next few weeks, the Salvation Army will fill boxes with clothes and shoes for more than 8,800 children in Wake County.

"We see so many people wanting to get involved and give back," said Lizzy Adams with the Salvation Army of Wake County.

Needy families are getting extra help from Communigift, a website created by a group of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students. The website is like a digital "Angel Tree" that allows visitors to browse through wish lists from families and directly purchase requested items.

"What's been great this year is that we've built it out so much better and so many families are going to be able to helped this year," said Taylor Sharp with Communigift.

Henry's family was one of many who benefited from the website last year.

"Whoever went shopping for my son last year, I'm grateful," she said.

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  • Pepe Silvia Dec 2, 2014

    I've always wondered why the Angel Trees hadn't gone digital. Seems like it would be much easier for everyone involved.

    As a new foster parent who just last month had three elementary school aged parents placed in my home, this year is the first time I've ever had kids on the recipient end of an angel tree. I struggled, morally, with submitting their wish lists because my husband and I felt that accepting this help meant another child could miss out, but with them being placed so close to Christmas and having to go through a huge adjustment just having them move in and buying things they NEED it has been had to find time and money to buy things they WANT as well.

    We want the kids to learn that Christmas is about giving more than receiving as well as give back, so we will be sitting down this week to pick a family from this site! Thank you WRAL for sharing it!