Christmas assistance helpers needing help this year
The countdown the Christmas is an exciting time for many. But for families in need, it can be scary when there's not enough money to put presents under the tree.
This year more parents are reaching out to local charities and asking for help, and local groups are seeing a need like never before. With such a high need, even those who help are needing some help this year.
The Forgotten Child Fund's toy warehouse might as well be Chattanooga's North Pole.
"These are the big two weeks," said Clay Ingle, who helps the organization provide needy families with children's toys for Christmas.
More than 2,500 parents have asked for help since November 1, but Ingle said the list will grow much longer.
"We'll double that amount and do another 5,000 in the next two weeks."
That means being Santa for more than 7,500 local children. Each child receives six to seven gifts. It's a giant task, but a simple goal.
"We just want every child to have a good Christmas," Ingle said.
Volunteers were busy packing up boxes Monday. The warehouse is starting to run low on toys for toddlers.
"Chattanooga is in need," said Kimberly George of the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army's Angel Tree still has 2,000 angels waiting for help. George said more parents reached out this year than ever before.
"We have hundreds of families that have approached us in need of Christmas assistance. Without the Salvation Army and the generosity of the community, they won't be able to provide a Christmas for their children," she said.
But with a little help, Ingle said some children's wish lists can become a reality.
"It lets them know they're really special for one day in their life."
After a big week of shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, some charities have dubbed Tuesday "Giving Tuesday." The Salvation Army hopes consumers will think of someone else in need when they shop.