3:34 am
Wed December 17, 2008

Salvation Army still struggling

Paducah, KY – Paducah's Salvation Army is scrambling to serve almost 1250 children through their Angel Tree Program this Christmas. With distribution starting today, coordinator Lisa Hawkingberry says the group is severely lacking gift donations. Carrie Pond has more.

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Volunteer gift givers left only 14 angels on the tree this year, but Hawkingberry says many of those folks still haven't turned up with presents for the presumably adopted angels. She says she hopes people have bought gifts for those children and are planning to turn them in soon. Though the Salvation Army has some items from collection sites to fill in some of the gaps, Hawkingberry says there isn't enough to go around, especially in two key groups.

"We've got several people who just had babies. And I know they don't know Christmas, but even diapers would help. And then the other things are boy and girl teenagers. Anything above 13 - 12 or 13- I have hardly nothing for them."

She says even if no more donations are received, no one will be denied a Christmas gift- the child might just receive much less than usual from the group. Hawkingberry adds recent bad weather has prevented the organization from putting out bell ringers- and that money is used toward providing food for needy families over the holidays. She says people can make monetary donations toward either food or Christmas presents. Those interested can also donate individual items at the organization's collection center on Irvin Cobb Drive.