Forgotten Child Fund helping more than 2,000 children than last year
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
The Forgotten Child Fund set a goal to help more than 8,500 children. In total they received applications for 8,927 children. Volunteers are determined to pack enough boxes to help every child.
A few weeks ago The Forgotten Child fund needed your help. Volunteers were running low on donations for children ages 10-16.
Now, with help from the community, all of the gifts are boxed up and ready to go to families who need a little extra help this Christmas.
"We've just had an extraordinary number of kids or families apply for help this year," said Clay Ingle, Forgotten Child Fun PIO, "Last year we did over 6,300 and this year we know for a fact we're over 8,600 kids."
Volunteers are embracing the higher demand for gift donations this year, but it also comes with a downside.
"You know it's good in one way, but what makes it sad is you wonder how many kids in the past haven't asked for help that's needed it."
Large donations like this one from Abbas House is exactly what volunteers want to see just days before Christmas.
"And we're helping the people that need it most, we're helping children," Ingle said, "I mean who wouldn't want to see a child get a toy on Christmas morning, that's what's important."
The Forgotten Child Fun started in 1965 by two Chattanooga Police officers. Now, nearly 50 years later, its powered by volunteers of all safety departments in town.
"I'm chief of a volunteer rescue team and my group's really involved in this, but it's all emergency service workers," Ingle said, "It's 100 percent volunteer here nobody is paid a dime."
Volunteers call their warehouse the toy store. It's where many have been putting in 10 and 12 hour days getting donation boxes filled.
"And we've had a lot of larger families this year," said volunteer Ashley Murphy, "Maybe some families that have seven or eight children that we've had to fill for."
Murphy has been volunteering for the last five years. She does it hoping every child will get a gift on Christmas day.
"I remember opening toys and going and telling santa that I wanted certain toys," Murphy said, "And I think for those kids that's probably the same."
About 98 percent of families who asked for help have already stopped to pick up their donation boxes. All of the left over donations will go to help next year's families in need.