Holiday Help For Those in Need
APPLETON, WI--Hundreds of Fox Valley families in need are getting a little help this holiday season. Sign up for the Salvation Army's Christmas Assistance program is officially underway. The agency says the need is greater than it was last year and they're starting to see a decline in donations.
About 700 families waited in line for hours in Appleton, but they say the wait is worth it. It's the only way some can make sure they have warm clothes, toys and food on christmas.
Hundreds wait their turn and the line is nearly out the door. Mom Ashley Olson waits an hour until it's finally time to get winter clothes. Olson needs warm clothes to get her 15 month old daughter Brooke through the winter. Without the Salvation Army she says she doesn't know what she would do.
"It's gonna be hard. It's gonna be a struggle making sure we have what we need" said Olson.
It's the second time Olson has come to the Salvation Army for help. Since having Brooke, the financial burden on her family is too much to bear.
"Coming here makes it a lot easier. A lot less stressful," said Olson.
Christmas Assistance is based on family size and income. Salvation Army leaders say they expect to help close to 2500 families in the Fox Valley over the next three days, which is more than years past.
But it's not easy because donations are down.
"The economy changes a little bit and people are a little more nervous about how things have been going. So our coats have been down we're hoping that toy distribution and donations are going to be up" said Captain Randy Tooley with the Salvation Army.
For Olson and her daughter, tt's a program they depend on through the holiday season.
"Last year it helped out a lot and this year it will make a big difference too," said Olson.
Christmas assistance for Fox Cities residents continues this week, through Wednesday. Families can sign up for the Christmas food baskets, toys and pick up coats.