Eau Claire (WQOW)- This holiday season hundreds of children in the Eau Claire area could wake up Christmas morning and find no presents to unwrap. WQOW News 18 is one of many in the area who are partnering with the Salvation Army in hopes of changing that.
"A lot of the families are getting laid off, or ran out of their unemployment," says Amanda Radle, with the Salvation Army. "They are just struggling right now to get enough for food on the table."
This year, mounting bills have stretched some family budgets to the breaking point. Radle says they're seeing more new faces in need of help. "You can just tell they feel bad coming here because they've never tried to get help before and now they need it."
And with the holidays approaching, Radle says, some parents are beginning to worry. "I heard one lady say, What am I supposed to do? Wrap an empty box? I just don't have the money to buy my kids anything."
Through the Angel Tree Toy Drive, the Salvation Army is working to put gifts under the tree for more than 1,200 children in the area.
WQOW News 18 is once again a drop off site for the toy drive. Only new, unwrapped donations are being taken. The drive wraps up on December 9th.