Nearly, 1,100 children from the D.C. area still don't have sponsors through the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program.
The program matches donors with kids who may not otherwise receive toys and other gifts for the holidays. More than 6,000 families apply for emergency holiday help each fall in hopes of receiving toys, clothes and other items for Christmas.
Kids' wishes are listed along with their first names, ages and clothing sizes; donors then buy gifts to make their wishes come true.
For some kids, the presents they receive through the program will be the only ones they receive at the holidays.
But if more sponsors don't forward, they won't get the toys they've wished for -- although they'll still get something from the Salvation Army.
"We have seen a rise in the need for Christmas assistance this year, especially in D.C. and Northern Virginia," said Major Lewis Reckline, National Capital Area Commander for the Salvation Army, in a release. "The parents of more than 14,000 kids turned to the Salvation Army for help through Angel Tree. With the community's help, we will not let them down, and these deserving children will have a Merry Christmas."
Reckline said the need is critical.
Those who want to help have until Friday to sign up. Anyone interested in helping a local child or family can visit www.salvationarmynca.org or call one of the following locations directly:
- The Salvation Army Alexandria: 703-836-2427
- The Salvation Army Arlington: 709-979-3380
- The Salvation Army Fairfax: 703-385-8700
- The Salvation Army Montgomery: 301-515-5354
- The Salvation Army Prince George's: 301-277-6103
- The Salvation Army Prince William: 703-580-8991
The organization will begin distributing gifts to local Angel Tree families during the week before Christmas.
Of the 1,100 kids still in need in the D.C. area, 360 of them live in the District, and 200 each live in Montgomery and Fairfax counties, said Ken Forsythe of the Salvation Army National Capital Area Command.