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CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - It's that time of year again when hundreds of Tennessee Valley families find themselves seeking material assistance for the Christmas holiday.
WDEF caught up with Tonya Evans who stood in line with hundreds of other financially struggling parents in the Tennessee Valley. They were all seeking assistance through the Salvation Army Angel Tree program
The program provides clothes, toys and other crucial items for families that are at or below the poverty line with children under the age of 12.
"It gets emotional around Christmas because we can't afford anything," said Evans who is struggling to make ends meet.
Evans is a mother of twins.
"When they see commercial on TV and they'll say mommy I want that. It hurts me bad because I can't afford it," Evans said.
Evans wasn't alone in feeling that way because the line to register for the Angel Tree program was very long and lasted for several hours.
"This is a good example of what the need in our community. So many folks think that when it comes to poverty that we're talking about third world countries or far away from Chattanooga but it exist right here in Chattanooga," said Salvation Army marketing director Kimberly George.
The long lines for registration illustrated a disturbing trend that has become a sign of the times for many struggling families.
"We're seeing folks who have never been in need before come to us in need; folks who have donated to us in the past now having to come for assistance," George said.
The need for family assistance is so great this year that the Salvation Army is begging the public for increased support.
"If you can give monetarily that's great. If you can do a toy drive and go adopt an angel in a couple of weeks; that's fabulous. If you have time to volunteer; that's just as important," George said.
Registration for the Angel Tree program will take place October 28th- 30th, November 4th-7th and November 12th -14th.
In Chattanooga, registration is located at 5001 Covington Street from 9 AM to 5PM.
In Cleveland, registration is located at 437 Inman Street West by appointment only. The number for appointments is 423-308-3467.
For more information about the registration process, people are encouraged to call 423-756-1023 or visit the Chattanooga Salvation Website at www.csarmy.org