Salvation Army needs Christmas warehouse

Oct. 26, 2016: The Salvation Army in Knoxville has a record number of applicants for the Angel Tree program this year, and the charity is in need of a warehouse to store gifts for the program.

Less than two months away from Christmas, East Tennessee charities are in need of donations due to a higher demand. 

The Salvation Army in Knoxville has a record number of applicants for its Angel Tree Program, but the organization has no place to store, sort and distribute gifts this holiday season. 

"We are in need of a warehouse or commercial space to be able to receive the gifts for the children," said Commander Major Christine Smith with The Salvation Army. 

In the past, someone has donated the space to The Salvation Army to use. Smith said they need a space that's roughly 20,000 square feet to use from Nov. 7 to Dec. 31. 

"That would be wonderful if there's someone out there that has a space, and they'd be willing to donate it to us for that time period," she said. 

The Salvation Army is willing to provide the owner of the space with a certificate of insurance to cover liability during occupancy.

This year, the Salvation Army in Knoxville will provide more than 1,800 children and senior citizens with gifts for Christmas. The applicants have already signed up, and donations will start rolling in after Thanksgiving, Smith said. 

"This will just mean so much to these families to be able to receive these gifts for their children who otherwise probably wouldn't get anything at Christmastime," Smith added. 

Ben Landers, president of the United Way Greater Knoxville, which is a funded partner with The Salvation Army, said overall giving is up this year from what he has seen. 

"I'd have to say in corporate employee giving, special events giving, it's actually been pretty good so far," he said.

The 94th United Way campaign in the Greater Knoxville area kicked off in September. It is running an eight percent increase, but Landers added that there is a greater need this year. 

"The amount of money requested is up $2 million just in Knox County alone," he said, "so the need is clearly, clearly there." 

If you would like to donate a space to help The Salvation Army, call (865) 525-9401 and ask for Christine Smith or Rob Link. 

(© 2016 WBIR)


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