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Fewer toys donated to Danville Salvation Army, hundreds of children still on Angel Tree

By Justin Ward, jward@wdbj7.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:14:17 PM EST
Updated On: Dec 13 2013 09:23:21 PM EST

The group needs toys for more than half of the angels still hanging on the Christmas angel tree.

DANVILLE, Va. -

Co-captains and volunteers at the Danville Salvation Army are hoping the masses come at the last minute, or else they'll be extra busy this weekend shopping for children on their Angel Tree. This year they're got the fewest toys they've ever had donated.

The usual deadline for returning angels is Friday. As of Friday night there are hundreds of them untouched.

"I don't panic because I know it always comes trough and I know every child will be taken care of," said Captain Janice Dahlin.

But panic may be the next option if this doesn't work. The gym at the Danville Salvation Army is typically full of toys.
There's usually no room to walk through the isles. Now empty spaces with signs but no bags of toys in sight are spread throughout the room.

Leaders don't know why this is happening.

"I don't know. I don't know. Because it seems like last year the economy was worse and people gave more," Dahlin said.

Angels are kids from low income families sponsored by the Salvation Army. The families that don't get picked off the tree and returned here are allowed to shop for toys in this makeshift toy store. Right now it's "slim pickin's". With monetary donations the husband and wife captain team plan to shop for more toys this than they ever have before.

"I'll have to shop for over a thousand toys on Monday. Usually I'd shop for four to six hundred toys. We have 750 angels this year, last night, the day before the deadline, we had 611 angels that needed to be checked in," Dahlin said.

Friday night the group pushed one last effort to get more toys by having a toy drive at the Danville Walmart.

The captains have extended the deadline to return angels or donate until Monday. They're hoping that gives people enough time to bring in toys.