Volunteers at the Salvation Army in the Mohawk Valley are working day and night to prepare for the distribution days ahead. Hundreds of families will be receiving food, clothes, and gifts for the holidays. But as our Cara Thomas reports, not every child may get a toy or a coat this year if more donations don't come through.
UTICA, N.Y. -- Whether you’re coming to or leaving from Hair Designs by Michelle, there’s one thing that might catch your eye: a pile of tags. Each with a different child’s name, age, and clothing sizes.
"We still have a good amount of tags that need to be filled and children that need Christmas presents," said owner Michelle Passalacqua.
She has been accepting donations like these for the Salvation Army for the past 13 years. And so far, with the help from clients, family and community members, they've filled about 40 tags. But there's still more to be done.
The Salvation Army of Utica set a lofty goal this year, hoping to raise $100,000 from the Red Kettle Drive and so far they're three-fourths of the way there. They also planned to provide enough jackets, hats, gloves, and toys for about 1,000 children.
Lt. Michael Harrington said, "You're talking 1,000 coats, 1,000 hats, donations have been coming in good and we've been blessed but we're also a little short in that area for our goal."
With only a few days left, the Salvation Army is in need of a miracle. They still need at least 500 more coats and hundreds of toys so each child can get what they need this Christmas.
"There is the reality that not every family has a Christmas tree or is going to receive presents. And this is the opportunity to make that happen for a lot of families," said Harrington.
A shortage of donations forced the Salvation Army to push back their distribution days from Tuesday to Friday and Saturday. They say hopefully those few extra days will be enough for the community to make those last minute donations.
To donate, toys, clothes and winter apparel can be dropped off at the Mohawk Valley Salvation Army, located at 14 Clinton Place in Utica. Or you can give a monetary donation through the Red Kettle Drive. Volunteers will be ringing their bells until Christmas Eve.