LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Hundreds of local families will struggle to provide their families with food and presents this holiday season.
The goal of KPLC's Community Christmas is to help those families that are in need. However, the goal cannot be reached without the support of the community.
"From past years, we've had an extensive amount, more things by this point in the program. Our distribution is next Thursday, and as you can see from looking around, we just don't have the supplies to fill the need," said Beki Derise, with the American RedCross.
With the deadline rapidly approaching, Derise says they are desperate to supply 500 families with meals and toys for Christmas. 500 may seem like a small number until you understand what it really means.
"500 families are not based on individuals. It's about 1,700 kids that are looking for toys from Santa Claus and about 2,500 people we are trying to feed," said Derise.
So far, only 50 bags full of toys are ready to be distributed to children of families in need, but that's only enough for 75 out of 1700.
Derise stated, "As adults, we understand the true meaning of the season. As a small child, their life is built around Christmas and Santa Claus, and that's what we want to prove, that there really is a Santa Claus here."
There is also a tremendous shortage of food.
"From the food we have, we can probably do about 50 bags, and that's it," said Derise.
A can of food can run an individual about $1.00, and a toy can be bought for under $5.00. You don't have to spend much, you just need to make a difference while there's still time.
"It's a plea at this point, it's truly a beg. These individuals that have applied to our program, there's a need there, there's a desperate need."
Non-perishable food donations and toys, can be dropped off in a Community Christmas bin at local a Walmart, Market Basket, or CapitalOne Bank. The deadline is this Saturday, December 12.
Coca-Cola and Gap Broadcasting will also be holding a "Stuff the Bus" event at the Walmart on Nelson Rd. on Saturday, December 12, from 9:00am – 3pm.