Time is running out for a charity in the Mat-Su which donates to families in need during the holiday season.


The Mat-Su Special Santa program has been around for 20 years, according to founder Mari Jo Parks. In 2015, they served more than 3,200 children. This year, she said, the number is expected to be higher.


The program is seeing more large families who are struggling. Most are referred to the program by social service agencies and each child is allowed to make a short list of gifts they’d like.


“Every child gets a brand new book, they get two or three gifts from us, stocking stuffers and winter wear,” said Parks.


The Special Santa Program is looking for donations of coats and snow pants for boys sizes 8 to 16. Toys of any kind are welcome, including outdoor toys — particularly sleds. The program is asking people to drop off donations by Wednesday morning at the the new Salvation Army building at 12271 E Palmer-Wasilla Highway in Palmer.


More information can be found on the group’s website.


KTVA 11’s Lauren Maxwell can be reached via email or on Twitter.