Local News

Cumberland Salvation Army Hopes To Make Holidays Merry For Children

Posted December 18, 2002 5:17 a.m. EST

— It has been a tough year for non profits trying to help needy families this Christmas. One agency is still trying to make the season merry, despite donations being down.

Raven Kirk said she dreams of having a Barbie doll this Christmas, and she just may get one. The Kirk family was adopted through the Salvation Army's Angel Tree Program. Without the program's help, the Kirks said they may not have had a Christmas.

"There's hardly any money left over once my husband gets paid, so we live on what we can," said Gigi Kirk, Raven's mother.

Despite a warehouse full of toys, all families may not get a bag full of presents. More than 300 families have yet to be adopted.

"We think there are two reasons: the economy being slower and with the way Thanksgiving and Christmas have fallen, we lost two weeks in the solicitation of gifts," said Capt. Ethan Frizzell, of the Salvation Army.

At the Salvation Army's gift giveaway in Cumberland County, organizers are still trying to make sure every child has at least two presents under the tree. They are giving unadopted families smaller gifts that were not donated to a specific family.

The Salvation Army in Cumberland County is also way down in its kettle campaign. Officials said they are behind by about $8,000. They also said feeding the needy and providing emergency shelter are some of the programs that could face reductions after the first of the year.