Posted on November 2, 2012 at 5:19 PM
Monday, Mar 11 at 3:14 PM
The Salvation Army says it expects to register 13,500 kids for this year’s Angel Tree program.
"I have two kids and no job, so I have no income, no way to provide for them for Christmas,” said Jessica Taylor, who was one of hundreds of people waiting in line Friday, which was the last day of registration.
Registering means Taylor’s daughters, 3 and 5 years-old, will get toys for Christmas through the generosity of strangers.
"To know you will have something under the tree for your kids on Christmas are just an overwhelming feeling,” Taylor said.
For some people, signing up meant waiting in line for hours. Organizers say some people showed up at 4:30 in the morning, even though doors at the registration center off Old Pineville Road and Archdale Avenue didn’t open until ten.
Once inside, people still had to wait another three to four hours to finish.
Taylor is waiting for something else-- a job.
She says she applied for 10 jobs in the last month but hasn't landed one. She admits not graduating from high school hasn't helped - so too an arrest for driving with a revoked license.
"The trend I've seen is a lot of people are still fighting to get back on their feet,” said Lindsay Duncan with The Salvation Army.
Duncan says this year, they'll register 13,500 kids for gifts, while a handful of years ago that number was 11,500 kids.
"We always kind of wonder is it going to trail off a little, is it going to go down, but it's just stayed the same,” Duncan said.
Taylor says when it comes to getting by, needing help and feeding two kids, life hasn't gotten worse.
"It's definitely not gotten any better,” she said.
The Salvation Army starts handing out toys to families with kids on the Angel Tree on December 17.
If you'd like to help, look for Angel Trees at area stores and malls through the holiday season.