RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As the Capital Region steadily sleigh rides straight to Christmas, for local charities it’s a mad scramble. Volunteers with Victory Church packing bags full of gifts Wednesday, trying to fill as many requests as they can in time for Christmas.
Pastor Charlie Muller says in 25 years running a toy drive, he’s never seen the need so high.
“Just in the last three or four days, we had so many calls come in we couldn’t respond. We couldn’t fill bags. We just didn’t have the people to do it,” Muller explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.
Not to be deterred, the church decided to deliver the holiday joy in one fell swoop opening up their facility in Rensselaer to any request that comes in before closing Wednesday. Pastor Charlie says after also taking on the families Capital Region Toys for Tots had to turn away, they’re up three times their usual demand.
“There’s some people you want to do more for and you really can’t because you have so many coming in, and that’s the challenge,” Pastor Charlie says.
But to those on the receiving end, they say Victory Church is already providing the world.
“Today’s world is very challenging, and it’s also helpful because I didn’t get my grandkids a lot like I usually do due to my disability right now,” says Stacey L. Heath.
“I think I think it’s the most wonderful thing in the world, especially at my time of crisis with cancer. It’s really helping me a lot,” says Barbara Walter, who is also picking up for her grandkids.
“Thank you Pastor Charlie. We love you Victory Church!” exclaims Daphne Rivera. “It’s not just the Christmas gifts. It’s all year round with the school supplies, summer programs, the lunches. They really do so much.”
After making the list and checking it twice, there’s still more for Pastor Charlie to do in the run up till Christmas. Next, he plans to reach out to older kids who still deserve a little holiday magic.
“There’s group homes were teenagers really don’t receive. They’re not with a family, and there’s no one giving them gifts. The challenge the next couple of days is making sure we go shopping. We’ve got one day to shop for all these kids in the group homes,” he says.
Call Victory Church to inquire about Christmas gifts at 518-434-6100.