Bad economy hurting Salvation Army donations

The bells are ringing but the pockets aren't emptying. Not like they used to anyway.

Locally, total donations are down between six to seven hundred thousand dollars from last year. Money is earmarked for the Angle Tree Program, presents for kids. The rest goes for more pressing needs.

“Anything over and above goes right into helping people with utility and rent assistance starting January 1st,” says Major Steve Morris, National Capital Area Commander Salvation

Money put in Salvation Army buckets buys presents for needy children. Bobi Newsome gets Caleb's Christmas toys from the Salvation Army.

“It make a big difference Caleb gets to have a really good Christmas,” says Newsome, a District resident.

Officials with the Salvation Army say the bad economy, and fears it could get worse, are affecting donations this year.

“We have people coming to accept assistance from us when they have been the ones giving the assistance in the past,” says Wendy Morris of the Salvation Army.

If donations continue to drop, the Salvation Army fears it may not be able to provide as many toys next Christmas.