Wal-Mart opened its doors to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma this year, providing almost three million pounds of food for the pantry. The organization also received extra truckloads of food from the government's stimulus plan. But all that food was gone almost as fast as it was loaded on the shelves, and the volunteers won't have that luxury next year. Chesapeake Energy is also matching every dollar donated up to $50,000 through December.
Donations from various organizations are helping the metro's Salvation Army get through the giving season. Brandes said the renowned Angel Tree event will help give back even more. Up to 8,000 children and 500 seniors are signed up for adoption.
The Children's Center in Bethany will continue its annual holiday "Baby Basics" campaign, which runs through New Year's Day. According to Linda Cook of Linda Cook & Associates, the donation drive allows the center to purchase essential items for its littlest residents with complex medical and physical disabilities. A gift list can be found online at www.tccokc.org, which includes personal hygiene items, clothing, baby items and other goods.
Children and families will always need help, no matter how great of an upturn the economy has, Gilkey said.
"That doesn't go away. Their needs don't go away," she said.