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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2005
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Time runs out for
holiday aid

By Bayne Hughes
DAILY Staff Writer

hughes@decaturdaily.com 340-2432

As the hours count down to Santa's visit, it's too late to get help in saving Christmas.

Thursday was the last chance for those who realize they needed food or gifts to get aid from a local volunteer organization.

On Friday, the Salvation Army was almost deserted except for a few employees finishing up before the holiday weekend. Packed a day earlier, the lobby was empty as Kim Little manned the office.

Several local volunteer organizations did not answer their phones Friday afternoon.

"We're really only here to answer the phones," Little said. "I believe we're really the only one open today (Friday), and we'll be closed on Saturday."

Little coordinates the Salvation Army's annual Angel Tree project. She said people began registering in September. During the holiday season, people select angels off a tree with Christmas wishes from children ages 13 and under.

This year the Angel Tree project helped more than 800 children. Little said the response pleased her.

"We had a better year than last year," she said.

More than 100 people were at the Salvation Army center on 14th Street on Thursday for the last chance to get food and toys for Christmas.

"We actually ran out before we could help everyone," Little said.

Little said life will finally return to normal next week. The employees will go back to dealing with their normal caseloads.

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