WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Sharmaine Joyner proudly showed off Santa's workshop at The Salvation Army warehouse on Thursday. It was deadline day for Angel Tree adoptions, but the deadline was pushed back once again due to lack of donors.
"Through the toy shop, we try to make sure we actually fulfill some of the things that may be missing from the actual bag," Joyner pointed out.
But this year there's a lot missing. The agency is still waiting for donations to be dropped off for already-adopted angels. "1900 donors have not dropped off their gifts," said Joyner.
At the same time, they're waiting, 300 angels are still waiting to be adopted from the Angel Tree. "I just know a lot of things are going on in Raleigh. We're transitioning. Everything is going up. So, it just means that a lot of our families are in need. The Salvation Army will help in meeting those needs," explained Joyner.
The Salvation Army Angel Tree program helps provide Christmas gifts for thousands of Wake County children each year. Each angel represents a child with a Christmas wish list. Donors adopt the angel and work to make wishes come true. Each donation includes two toys, an outfit, plus a coat or shoes. But donations are coming in slow this year.
"These are all the very empty kid rows. We have empty racks that should be full of coats for our kiddies," said Joyner as she pointed to empty clothing racks and shoe shelves.
She explained one reason why we are seeing lower donation numbers this holiday season. "Everyone is thinking of their families, which is understandable. But I do think, like, they may just forget that there are some families that still are needing things."
And the need is glaring when you look at the Salvation Army Shelter where 50 to 70 families sleep a night. "The fact that they are experiencing homelessness. But we are not taking the joy of Christmas away from these families," shared Ama Ageyemang, who serves as the shelter director.
Debbie Acker was with the Shelton Leadership Center, a group from NC State sorting through donations when she made an observation. "And a lot of clothing is still missing, as well as things that children from the ages of ten to 16 are asking for those. That's a great need right now," said Acker.
"So, even for us, we've been thinking about, you know, what can we actually go in and help give and bring back here to help supply those families," she continued.
With the clock ticking everyone pitching in to help with one thing in mind.
"That's just really fulfilling to me to actually see the kid's joy," continued Joyner.
To help spread holiday joy to kids in need you can visit the The Salvation Army Online to adopt an angel or make a financial donation to help support the angels on the angel tree. You can also stop by the Salvation Army Warehouse at 1300 Buck Jones Road or stop by Crabtree Valley Mall and pick up an Angel from the giant Angel tree in the center of the mall.
Gift distribution days start next week.