Local organizations say they are still falling short on donations for Christmas gifts. (WRDW-TV / Dec. 22, 2011)
News 12 at This Morning / Monday, Dec. 22, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Most everyone is busy this week wrapping up holiday presents, but the gifts Helen McVicker is checking through twice aren't just for her relatives.
McVicker, with the group When Help Can't Wait, explained, "The gift giving project we do every year, we've been doing for five years. It really helps to reduce the levels of depression."
The people receiving them live in area nursing homes.
"The fact that you can bring them a small gift, they can't believe it," McVicker said.
The boxes hold warm clothes, blankets and a card to make every recipient feel special. So far, 200 have been passed out.
The group is awaiting more phone calls and that means they want your last-minute donations.
"Our shelves will be bare after this Christmas rush. We are putting all our Christmas supplies and our toiletries into the Christmas presents," McVicker explained.
With Christmas less than three days away, the space at the First Baptist Church Family Center is filling up, but not fast enough.
"The past three years have been really hard. It's just the economy and everyone is having a hard time," said Lori Mathews, with the community Christmas Store.
Every number posted on the gifts represents the 494 children who signed up to receive presents. Mathews says there are still 48 children in need of sponsors.
"We know it's harder for parents out there that are living below the poverty level. They are having a hard time putting food on the table, let alone a remote control car or basketball," Mathews explained.
Even though more families are signing up this season of giving, the donations are down.
"That's what makes us every year, every year, makes us push and push," Mathews explained.
They're hoping for an 11th-hour Christmas miracle. Even the smallest item can go a long way in putting a smile on a child's face.
If you are interested in dropping of last-minute donations, stop by the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in North Augusta on Jackson Avenue. They will open their doors starting at 9 a.m. every day through Christmas Eve.
Donations to When Help Can't Wait can be dropped off at 3822 Commercial Court, Suite D in Martinez. Their offices are open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.