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Washington Salvation Army in need to help those in need during holidays

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WASHINGTON, Beaufort County - The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program allows people to sponsor children in need for Christmas.

However, there is a shortage of helpers who can sponsor a child for the Salvation Army in Washington and the organization is hoping there are people out there who can help.

The angels on the tree represent just a handful of the 100 children without a sponsor this Christmas. It's an unprecedented shortage for the organization. Normally, the Salvation Army in Washington is able to provide Christmas for 600 angels, plus 100 on a waiting list. Currently, 100 angels are still not adopted and 87 more families are on the waiting list asking for help.

"To be honest I've been here almost five years and this is the first year that we've been this behind," said Capt. Bruce Rabon of the Salvation Army's Washington office.

Most of the gifts for this year's angels are packed up and ready to go. But there are others who remain unadopted. Rabon said the natural disasters around the country this year might explain why they are short.

"The community came together really well during those times, and donated. And folks only have so much that they can do," Rabon said.

Rabon said no angel will spend Christmas empty-handed. They'll first fill wishlists with donated items then the organization will take into their resources to help.

"What we'll try to do is take money out of our operating budget, which means that we have to take money away from a different program in our social services," Rabon said.

So there's still time to help.

"It's not the community helping the Salvation Army, it's the community helping the community," Rabon said. "And Washington has been wonderful over the last five years that I've been here in coming together during crisis times like this."

Rabon said gifts for 8-12 year-olds are really what's needed. You can also give money and staff will use it to buy what's still needed. You can stop by with your donations at the business between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day through Friday. The location is at 112 E. 7th St. in Washington.  

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