CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN: Organizations across Chattanooga gathering gifts for kids in need
There are just 50 days until Christmas, and as children tick down the sleeps until Christmas Day, the Forgotten Child Fund is hard at work. They want to make sure the day is cheerful for each one of them.
"We couldn't pull this off without the community, everybody believing in us, and being able to take those funds that we get and make it happen,” Forgotten Child Fund President Capt. Kelly Simmons said.
For those in need, the Fund is taking applications from now until December 12th.
The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program is spreading cheer across the Tennessee Valley too.
"It's almost overwhelming to me to see all of these people in need,” Mark Smith with the Salvation Army said.
This year, they're set to help nearly 5,000 “angels” hoping for presents under the tree.
"They're all going to get help. Every one of these people is going to get help,” Smith said.
But Santa's helpers can't do it alone. The Salvation Army needs people to sign up to buy kids gifts from their lists, and the Forgotten Child Fund is asking for donations of toys and clothes.
"The older kids are really hard to buy for just because of the cost,” Simmons said. “That's really a gap for us, the 12 to 15-year-old boy and girl."
For volunteers, it's crunch time. They only have 50 days to make sure the sleigh is packed and ready for the moment that matters most.
"There's not a better feeling in the morning, waking up Christmas morning, knowing that Santa Claus was able to come see so many kids and making it happen,” Simmons said.
The Salvation Army and Forgotten Child Fund aren't alone. The Catoosa and Walker County Sheriff's offices are helping out by hosting toy drives.
For more information about helping the Salvation Army, Forgotten Child Fund, or Walker County drive, you can visit these websites: