Every year, Durham Rescue Mission holds a Christmas Eve dinner for the needy. They serve turkey and ham. And for the kids, there's a toy giveaway.
But now, just five days out, the group is 6,000 toys short of what they need in order to give all the kids some new playthings for the holiday.
"We accept new and used toys throughout the year, but at Christmas time we do like to give a new toy to the kids," said DRM CEO, Ernie Mills. "What kind of new toy? I tell the parents, any kind of toy you would buy for your kids, our kids would love it also."
One of the biggest shortages is of toys for kids ages eight to 12. Buying for younger children is often easier, but, actually, Mills thinks it might be more crucial for the slightly older kids.
"They are more alert of Christmas," he said. "Seemingly, they need more."
The organization also shelters the homeless throughout the year. Mills says they've seen a 37% increase in the number of people needing their services this year.
But donations are down. Not just in toys, but also in food.
"We're getting less from the food bank, yet our need is increasing," said Mills. "So that's a double squeeze we have. Ham is one of the big shortages we have this year. We like to serve turkey and ham for our Christmas meal."
If you'd like to learn more about Durham Rescue mission, or donate for the Christmas meal, visit their website: www.DurhamRescueMission.com