Wendy Batty

Christmas Bureau director Wendy Batty says with one in ten Edmontonians living below the poverty line, reaching fundraising targets is critical. (CBC)

Time is running out for many Edmonton charities to get the donations they need this Christmas.

"There's a huge need in the Edmonton community," said Wendy Batty, executive director of the Christmas Bureau, which is around $500,000 short of its $1.8 million goal.

The Bureau helps 62,000 people a year, partnering with Santa's Anonymous to help bring gifts to 23,000 children.

"Ten percent of [Edmonton's] population lives below the poverty line, and during the Christmas season they look to the charities to help them out," said Batty.

Batty said it has been difficult to get people to donate to local causes this year because the devastating floods in southern Alberta and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines have been pulling attention away.

The Salvation Army Kettle campaign, which ends on Christmas Eve, is still $130,000 shy of its $500,000 goal. The charity helps around 800 Edmonton families over the holiday period.

Meals on Wheels is faring better — just $18,000 short of its $120,000 goal.

The Edmonton Food Bank received a huge boost as the CBC Turkey Drive surpassed its $500,000 goal. At last count, the 18th annual fundraiser had taken in almost $518,000 for the charity. 

However, the food bank announced Monday that it has still not reached its goals of 235,000 kilograms of food and $1.1 million in cash.

"We have not yet met our goals," said food bank director Marjorie Bencz.

"However, we are cautiously optimistic that we will by January 6 which marks the end of our holiday campaign."

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