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More families in need

DECATUR -- Thousands of families in Macon County will have presents under their Christmas trees this year, thanks to the Salvation Army and generous donors.
DECATUR -- Thousands of families in Macon County will have presents under their Christmas trees this year, thanks to the Salvation Army and generous donors. The organization held its annual toy drive Tuesday. WCIA-3's Alex Davis checked in on the giving.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas outside, but inside thousands of homes each year, families struggle to put presents under their trees.

"There are so many families that can't afford to go shopping or to buy toys for their kids."

That's why Janette Pugh goes to the Salvation Army each year. She says without the organization's Angel Tree or the Marine Toys for Tots, her family might go without gifts.

"When my kids were kids, it helped when I got laid off of work and I was not able to give toys of all the things they wanted so the Salvation Army helped in so many ways with food and toys."

And they especially help in the toy department. The group will give some 1,800 families toys in Macon County alone this year. That's about 3,000 kids and 9,000 toys.

Over the past several weeks, thousands of toys have been collected. They've been organized and placed into these bags. Each bag contains at least three toys. They're both age and gender appropriate.

Families have to apply in advance. That's how Captain Wesley Dalberg knows the need has grown this year from last.

"We probably have seen somewhere between six and eight hundred additional families this year over last, overall this Christmas season."

Since Dalberg says kids can't always understand the full meaning of hard times, he says that's not really the point.

"I would hope that they would just realize that even though there are tough times, that somehow their mom and dad were able to find a way to have something under the tree for them."

While the Salvation Army serves families in need, the organization believes its generosity provides hope for struggling families.
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