Friday, December 2, 2011
The need is up, but the supply is down for the Salvation Army toy drive in Butler County this year.
The Salvation Army is in desperate need of toys and coats for Christmas. What they have is barely a drop in the bucket, compared to the need there, but they have faith people will respond.
The Salvation Army of Butler County is concerned some trees won't have presents under them come Christmas unless they get some help.
No doubt plenty of folks passed by a barrel at a local store this past weekend, but deposits weren't made.
"We're still in great need for getting toys, especially for our middle age group for the ages of about six to 14," said Captain Katie Pinkston of the El Dorado Salvation Army.
Pinkston says the Salvation Army usually gets 1,000 to 1,500 toys the weekend after Thanksgiving, but this past weekend could perhaps be considered disastrous for them.
"We were unable to get any more than 20 toys this year," Pinkston said.
She believes the shortfall is in part due to a failure to communicate the need to the public, so she's alerting folks now.
"We really do need to boost our number of toys so that we can have enough to go around to everybody," she said.
The Salvation Army tries to provide stocking stuffer-type gifts as well as what officials describe as main gifts for pre-screened families meeting low-income guidelines.
"We're in particular need of main gifts," Pinkston said. "Gifts that range in between $20 and $35 at the most."
The Salvation Army has Angel Trees at the Walmart stores in Augusta and El Dorado as well as the Scooters in El Dorado, where people can find specific requests needing filled. Or donors can drop the gift off at the Salvation Army, 207 W. First, El Dorado.
Besides toys, the charity wants to make sure children are dressed warmly.
"We really want to make sure every single kid that can have one gets a winter coat this year," Pinkston said.
She added the donations received so far likely won't last for more than the first hour or so of the Salvation Army's giveaway.
Pinkston is confident people will donate toys now that they know there is need.