"Panicked" was the word Captain Harold Laubach used to describe the situation at the Salvation Army distribution center Tuesday. With about 2,000 children signed up for the Angel Tree program this Christmas, the organization still needs gifts for more than half of them.
"It's an emptiness in the pit of your stomach, that there is nothing that you can do to help these people right now," says Laubach.
But they aren't giving up yet. With tremendous amount of faith in the community, Captain Laubach and city councilman Ray Aguilera are pleading with the community to save Christmas for hundreds of children this year.
There is just one week before distribution of gifts is scheduled to begin, and that leaves little time. The Angel Tree is located inside Pueblo Mall in front of the Sport's Authority store. All you have to do is take a card, buy the gifts, then bring them back to the tree. Another way you can help is to donate money in Pueblo at the kettles around town. You can donate to the program by writing a check and on the memo line indicating it is for the Angel Tree.
Kids 12 and under were eligible this year for the Angel Tree, the only other qualifying criteria were that they had to be residents of Pueblo County and their family had to prove their level of income. The Salvation Army says, the majority of those signed up are in bad shape financially.
KKTV's partner for our toy drive, Christmas Unlimited, plans to reach out to the Salvation Army to see if there is something they can do to help. The United Way of Pueblo and El Pomar both made financial donations of $1,500 and $2,500 respectively, Tuesday as well. Still, it's a drop in the bucket says the Salvation Army.
Their only hope of providing gifts to all of the children that signed up this year is with your help.