CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Christmas is just two weeks away, but hundreds of local families can't afford to pay for gifts. A local organization is helping dozens of those families.
Glenna Hayes-Carldwell knows what it's like to have nothing to give at Christmas.
"When you find yourself in that position that you actually need help, it's hard," she said.
Last year, she was laid off from her job at IBM. She feared her son would have to go without, but at her lowest point she received help from Cooperative Christian Ministry and a program called The Empty Stocking Fund.
The program allows people to adopt families in need. Hayes-Carldwell and her son were adopted and given gifts that year.
"To be able to see him wake up and know that he has Christmas and that there's people out there who care enough to do it,” she said, “hat was really a blessing to me."
This year, workers at CCM said they've taken more than 150 applications from the Department of Social Services and school counselors asking for help for local families.
"There are many families not feeling the effects of the improvements in the economy. We believe it will be years for many families to move beyond the crisis they're in," said Ed Hosack, executive director of Cooperative Christian Ministry.
Glenna who's also getting help this year, wants other families facing a crisis to know it's okay to ask for help.
"Don't give up. There's a lot of generosity in this world," she said.
CCM isn't taking any more applications this year for the Empty Stocking Fund, but families can still qualify for things like food and utility assistance.
For more information, visit cooperativeministry.com or call 704-786-4709.