Local News

Salvation Army struggles as need increases, donations decline

Posted December 18, 2017 5:47 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 1:40 p.m. EDT

— The countdown to Christmas is on, and those who count on charity to help the less fortunate say donations are down.

The Salvation Army of Fayetteville is in the final phase of its angel tree Christmas giveaway program. They’re planning to give a lot of families a helping hand this holiday season but, because of some destructive weather across the country, the number of families in need has increased as the number of those able to give has decreased.

The program not only helps children but seniors too. Last year, Joan Dick received help for her seven grandchildren. This year, she’s picking up gifts for her parents, who are in their 70s.

“They wouldn’t have a Christmas” if the program didn’t exist, Dick said.Capt. Matt Trantham, who runs the Fayetteville Salvation Army, had to shut down his shelter for women and children and his Love Lunch program for a year after Hurricane Matthew damaged the building. He said donors have been faithfully giving what they can, but he’s noticed a difference this year.

“We’ve noticed more requests for assistance in light of the hurricane, in light of the aftermath, in light of folks trying to rebuild. It’s been a challenge for everyone,” he said.

Trantham said if it was not for the angel tree program, many families would have very little or nothing at all under the tree on Christmas.

The Salvation Army has been able to help about 1,400 families this year, but there is still time to donate. The red kettles will remain at various locations through Saturday and Trantham said the organization is about $4,000 short of what they had raised by this point in 2016.

The Salvation Army is not the only charity noticing fewer donations this year. The United Way of Cumberland County has also reported a drop in donations to many of their campaigns as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

The Durham Rescue Mission last week also said that they were about 7,000 toys short of their goal.

WRAL’s annual }Coats for the Children drive provides toys and warm winter wear through the Salvation Army. You can donate at any Triangle-area Jiffy Lube or online.