CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Bags of generous donations given at the Salvation Army store in East Ridge can go to helping people like 35-year-old Brandy Johnson.
The single mother says she lost everything when her husband died of kidney failure at age 34.
Now she finds herself here at the Chattanooga Homeless Shelter standing in the cold for hours and waiting on a meal or a place to sleep.
It's a situation she never thought would happen.
"I have a 3-year-old little boy and I can't bring him out here in this," she says. "It's hard, it's cold, and I'm 35. I have never been out here like this before."
For people like Brandy, the Salvation Army has made a push for more end of the year donations in hopes of helping the less fortunate before temperatures hit the freezing level.
Communications Director, Gordon Hall says, "The need continues to grow. The need is greater than ever before. People are still hurting despite the slow economic recovery."
Several people made their way to the store whether it was for buying an after Christmas gift, or donating what they could.
Johnson says she makes daily trips to the Salvation Army for basic necessities.
Every little bit helps.
"It does. It really does," says Johnson "Some people just pass us by like we are nothing."
For Johnson, it's a sinking feeling she plans to overcome.
The Salvation Army stores located at 4104 Ringgold Road and at Belvoir Ave will have extended hours from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm, December 29, and until 6:00 pm on December 31.
The Salvation Army is also in need of monetary donations to assist with the increase in Christmas needs.
Donations can be made by visiting the Chattanooga salvation army website, by calling 1-800-sal-army or can be mailed to 822 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403.
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