BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Salvation Army set up their Angel Trees before Thanksgiving, but now they've learned there's a greater need for help around Baton Rouge. An additional 700 more families are asking for help. And with Tuesday being named "Giving Tuesday", charities are hoping the public feels like giving.
Basketballs, board games and baseball bats sit in boxes inside the one of the offices at the Salvation Army. The toys in the small space do not come close to what's needed to make Christmas happen for thousands of children.
"Last year we had almost 2000 families to serve, this year we have 2700 plus families," said Major Stephen Long. He says those 2700 families total between five and six thousand children. Each with an angel tag to hang from one of dozens of Angel Trees in the area, and even more names waiting inside their offices.
Nationwide, non-profits are hoping to start a new tradition called "Giving Tuesday." They are hoping that once people are shopped out on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they will consider helping those who are not as fortunate.
Major Long says if not all the angels are adopted, those children may not have a Christmas.
"Need has no season," Long said. He adds because of Hurricane Isaac a lot of the less fortunate families have even less this time of year, due to spending money on fixing their homes.
To help get gifts, next month the Salvation Army will team up with Walmart for "Fill the Truck." Just drop off new toys and clothes and they will get them to an angel.
Long says to see the looks on the children's faces is a reminder of what the season is all about.
"To be able to pick out a child and hide behind bushes, ring a door bell and go hide and see the expression on their face when they see what's there....it's priceless."
You can drop off new toys and clothes for "Fill the Truck" on December 8th, for one day only at Walmart stores around the area. Angel Trees are at Capital One banks and Walmart stores.