INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - With less than a week to go before Christmas, some local charities say they still need help.
The United Christmas Service extended its donation deadline Wednesday because chairman Ron Pearson said they were still $200,000 short.
"In my 30 years as volunteer chair I don't ever remember being at a place like this where we are $200,000 away from taking care of the 7,100 families that were identified as the ones who were most desperate - the least of these in our community," said Pearson.
Pearson said the deadline to donate has been extended to Friday.
As of Tuesday night, the Salvation Army in central Indiana had raised just $1,697,016 (or 51 percent) of its $3.3 million Tree of Lights goal.
"We're running a little bit behind, but we know the generosity of this community, and we trust that the good people of central Indiana will once again come through to help us serve their neighbors in need in 2013," said Major John Turner, Divisional Commander for the Salvation Army in Indiana.
As for why donations are down this season, Turner mentioned the November general election.
"Typically election years are tough years for non profits because a lot of money goes to the candidate of your choice," he said.
Turner and Pearson both mentioned natural disasters like the tornadoes that tore through southern Indiana last spring and Hurricane Sandy that damaged the East Coast in the fall.
"And that's fine. I don't think kindness and compassion ends at the Indiana borders," said Pearson. "That's understandable. It's just too bad because of the people we know well and are so positively in need - not getting help."
One person was critically injured, two others seriously hurt in a head on crash in Greenfield late Wednesday.
Employees at some Indianapolis fast food restaurants will take part in a 100-city strike Thursday morning.
An Indianapolis man armed with a gun and barricaded inside a home on the northwest side surrendered to police after chemicals were fired into the house.