One week before Christmas and a local charity is in desperate need to fill these Christmas gift boxes.
After a strong start to the season, Sarah Wells at Good Samaritan Ministries did not expect to be in this situation. "Always at the end there will be some added, but we have always been able to make sure everyone was covered," explains Sarah Wells.
The agency set out to help close to 2,000 children this year, and for the most part it's been successful. There are hundreds of boxes with wrapped gifts in the staging room, but there are still 145 empty boxes.
There are no more donations to go into the boxes.
Wells says each child helped through Good Samaritan Ministries is double checked through a computer database ensuring they are not receiving assistance at another agency.
"These truly are children who will wake up Christmas morning with to nothing, of course most are teenagers," says Wells.
Heather Turpin's children are on the list this year. This single mother of two says Christmas gifts just don't fit in the budget. "With the food stamps I can get them food,” says Turpin. “With my cash assistance I have enough to get the diapers, pull-ups wipes, [but] don't have enough money to buy them anything."
Her family was one of a few chosen by an outside sponsor.
Donations are down this year. A major donor only pledged a tenth of their traditional contribution this year.
Distribution was to begin later this week, but officials say they will pass out donations up until the last minute.
"We've got shoppers ready to go,” says Wells. “The other day as soon as money came in, they ran out."
The ministry is accepting gift donations as well as monetary donations. Folks can donate through the website by clicking here.
A toy drive that helps benefit the Christmas program at Good Samaritan Ministries has been extended. Phil Bachman Toyota is offering a free oil change with the donation of a toy valued at least $20.
The offer has been extended through Friday.