By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The economy appears to be taking a toll on local charities. Many are reporting drops in donations at a time when more and more people are turning to them for help.
At City Rescue Mission Friday, local high school students were having fun sorting the latest donations of clothing. They also helped put together boxes for the homeless shelter's annual Thanksgiving dinner-in-a-box give-away.
"Last year, we were able to do 500, our goal this year is 600," Tiffany Webb with City Rescue Mission said.
But shelter officials said they're in a bind -- food donations are lagging. They have enough to fill just over half the boxes, and time's running out.
"We're just hoping it'll happen this weekend and we'll get what we need," Webb said.
Karen Smith is also hoping. She signed up for one of the boxes and appreciates what City Rescue Mission is doing.
"I'm looking forward to having a good Thanksgiving," Smith said. "It's really good 'cause everybody needs help this year to feed their families."
Of course, there's also the annual bell-ringing. The Salvation Army kicked off its annual holiday bell-ringing campaign Friday, and officials said despite the economy, they have high hopes.
"We've kept our goal the same as last year, which is $350,000 here in Oklahoma City, and we have a lot of faith that Oklahoma City will come through and really come out to donate," Heidi Brandes with the Salvation Army said.
Salvation Army officials hope their donations won't slow time as the holiday season hits, and the sight of the bell-ringers will raise spirits, and money.
"Just a dollar, a couple quarters, whatever you have in your pocket, it goes a long way," Brandes said.
The Christmas Connection also said their donations are down, and they really need children's clothing.
For more information on how you can help some of these local charities, click the links to the right.