New generation of families seeking holiday help - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New generation of families seeking holiday help

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RICHLAND, Wash. - Ready or not, the holidays are upon us. A number of local organizations take this time to offer up some holiday help: donating food, clothing or toys.

A new generation of families, though, are seeking that holiday help. The term that is being used is 'the working poor.' Families with two working adults are coming up short these days and not just for the holidays, but everyday life.

Every year the Jericho Road Ministries hold registrations where families bring proof of income to find out if they're eligible for a free shopping spree of clothing, household items and toys for Christmas gifts.

"We're seeing a big increase in the families that actually do have jobs but they don't make enough to make ends meet. The minimum wage jobs these days will not make all of the bills so when it comes time for the holidays they're really hard pressed," said Executive Director Amy Schultz.

"The need is greater and we thought it was going to get better this year but by the numbers and by the kind of families that now we're seeing, we know that there's a need out there," said Major Julio Vasquez of the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is on track to support nearly 600 families with food baskets at Christmas and toys for kids. 

Jericho Road Ministries is working with over 60 families this year and about 250 children.

While thousands will get holiday help this year, there are still thousands more who will fall through the cracks.

"The Tri-City community has been very generous to the Salvation Army. We appreciate that. But still, there's a need out there that keeps increasing and we only pray that the community will come and try to level that generosity," said Vasquez.

Schultz said Jericho Road Ministries coaches families to make the holidays more about traditions and spending family time together, rather than the presents.
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