MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Salvation Army volunteers are working overtime fulfilling the wishes of children in need. Manatee County Salvation Army leaders said the need for gifts this year is up more than 30 percent. Salvation Army leaders believe the red tide epidemic is partially to blame.
“The people who work on Anna Maria Island in the service industry were really hit hard, nobody was going out to eat,” said spokesperson Kelly French.
French said the group helped about 1,800 children last year. The need is up to 2,600 this year.
“We were really surprised by this increase,” said French.
David Marshall volunteers and donates to the gift program. He said it’s a very rewarding experience to see the families receive the gifts.
“Every kid wants to wake up on Christmas morning with a present,” said Marshall.
ABC Action News is teaming up with the Salvation Army to help families need. Click here for a location to donate.