CHARLOTTE, N.C. – New numbers out this week show the number of homeless in Charlotte is growing at the second-highest rate in the country.

Now, at Christmas, local charities are trying to help as many homeless adults and children as possible.

Volunteers at A Child’s Place have spent recent days wrapping toys, clothes and canned food for homeless parents and children.

“The kids are going to be out of school for two weeks (and) that means they’re not getting free breakfast and lunch during those two weeks, and so that’s an extra hardship on their families,” Annabelle Suddreth, the director of A Child’s Place, said.

Suddreth said the organization has found success in the way it sets up holiday giving. Local people sign up to sponsor a family and then purchase food, clothing and one item on the child’s wish list.

Suddreth said A Child’s Place was able to provide for more than 300 families and more than 1,100 children, even with 28 percent more homeless people to serve this year.

One mother, who didn’t want to be identified, said this holiday season has been tough.

“I’m working, but I’m working part time,” she said. “We actually lost our place to live.”

But the woman said just holding items that will brighten her children’s Christmas gives her hope.

“It makes me very happy, because if it wasn’t for A Child’s Place, my children might not have Christmas.”

For more information about volunteer opportunities with A Child’s Place, click here.

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