CBS 6 reporter Shelby Brown set out to find which groups are still accepting applications from families in need.
Across the area we found volunteers dropping off donated toys, stacking them high and organizers gearing up to make the holidays brighter for families.
Wayne Hall, President of the nonprofit organization Holiday Helpers in Ft. Lee, said they’re still accepting active duty and retired military families, even veterans. He said that although they are focusing on helping military families, they don’t have to live there to qualify for assistance.
Other military families in the area with ties to Ft. Lee, who can show their need could be eligible.
Hall said there are three ways that families can qualify.
They must be nominated through unit commanders, or the chaplain’s association, or families can contact the Army Community Services to explain their need.
The Army Community Services can also nominate families to Holiday Helpers.
“Sometimes service members are deployed. Sometimes family members are alone. Sometimes they have different stressors. This is a way to give back to our service men and women. They can come in here and shop and get gifts for their children,” Hall said.
Holiday Helpers are accepting the family nominations until Nov. 29.
One single mom who contacted CBS 6 News tells us tough economic times have her strapped. Like so many others, she’s not sure how she will fill her two children’s Christmas stockings.
"It is worrying me a little, yeah. But, I think that they will be happy with anything they get for Christmas,” Lauren said.
CBS 6 News also found out about another organization that is still accepting holiday help requests. It’s the Radio One Toy Drive.
Miss Community Clovia said they are collecting new, unwrapped toys in donation bins at City Hall and at all city fire stations, until December 11.
The toys are intended for age groups ranging from newborns to teenagers.
There will also be a huge toy drive on December 9, 10 and 11, at the Walmart on Sheila Lane.
“We will be there from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day," Clovia said. "We are asking people who can, if you have extra this season when you go to purchase toys for a family member, pick up one for another kid."
She explained that the toys collected during that three-day drive will bring in the bulk of the gifts that will help families who need it most.
Radio One is partnering with Mayor Dwight D. Jones and the city in this effort.
If you can’t donate during the three-day drive, you can stop by any city fire station with your new, unwrapped toys and look for the decorated bins.
“It’s for families who work every day and after their monthly expenses they just can’t afford any extras, in particular gifts for their kids, so this is for families who are falling through the cracks,” Clovia said.
If you would like to receive free toys from the Radio One Toy Drive, Clovia says they need to hear from you no later than Nov. 30.
In a letter, you must submit the following information: name, phone number, address, your child’s age and gender.
That information needs to be either mailed to or dropped off at:
2809 Emerywood Parkway, Suite 300
Richmond, VA 23294
Again that letter must be in the radio station office no later than November 30th.
Other well-known organizations like the Christmas Mother tell CBS 6 they are already at capacity with the number of families they are assisting this season.
They are, however still accepting monetary donations that will be used to fulfill their commitment to the families who already signed up.
The Colonial Heights/Chesterfield Christmas Mother Diane Starke says they will be helping close to 5,000 people.
They could still use volunteers to meet them at the Chesterfield Fairgrounds on Dec. 10 - 14 to help distribute the items to families.
Starke says all you have to do to volunteer is show up. You can also call 748-1183 for more information on sponsoring a family in need.