SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Every year, the Salvation Army helps hundreds of families with Christmas presents. This year, donations are coming in slower than usual here in South Mississippi.
Major Beth Sturdivant, who works closely with the Angel Tree families, hopes people are just taking their time bringing in gifts. Right now, more than 400 family's boxes remain empty.
"Perhaps people just don't have the extra to share with others this year; they may be finding themselves in need or just haven't had a chance to do the shopping yet," said Sturdivant.
By this time in years past, a good amount of the boxes would have already been filled. They are now just six days away from packing for distribution, and Sturdivant is still awaiting donations.
"All of these boxes here are a family that needs to be taken care of, and as you can see they are all empty so far. We just want to make sure that they're filled up for families who are coming to seek assistance."
According to Sturdivant, this is the first year they have assisted so many families with two incomes. To her, it's a sign of hard economic times.
Even though Angel Tree donations seem to be few and far between, one veteran bell ringer says his red kettle seems to be doing just fine.
"I think the donations have been good to me, but I guess the Major could be right, but in my opinion they're up," said Keith Martin.
The good news is red kettle donations are remaining steady, and the Salvation Army uses some of those donations to help supplement what they don't receive in donated gifts for their Angel Tree families.