Peggy Vick of the Salvation Army says she's is "thrilled with the response" she has gotten from the business community this holiday season.
"The neat thing that has happened this year is that corporations are realizing that the business sector is helping the non-profit sector," she said.
"We can't do it alone. If corporations would help us out we really could meet the needs of more people."
Eastman Kodak, in the Airport Square building, was one of those businesses, opening its corporate office yesterday to 25 preschoolers for a Christmas party and giftexchange. The children and their mothers are clients of the Salvation Army in Glen Burnie.
This is the first year the company has thrown a party for the children. Last year, the company helped the Salvation Army by participating in the Angel Tree program, in which employees were given the ages and sizes in order to buy presents anonymouslyfor children.
There are 15 Salvation Army angel tree programs in North County, representing more than 500 children who will receive gifts.
The employees of Eastman Kodak told Vick they wanted "to do more and would like to have the benefit of seeing the children's expressions when they receive their gifts." So Vick helped them to plan the party.
A clown and Santa entertained the children and Hardee's donated food. Eastman Kodak personnel brought beverages and desserts.
"I think the mentality has really changed about helping people," said Vick.
"Because they are seeing for themselves the pink slips. The face of the needy is changing. It's those people who receive the pink slip or their mortgage is up."
Vick added that "Need has no season, and if we could be conscious year-round about the needs of individuals, it's wonderful that we have a massive impact at Christmas, but that need does not cease on Jan. 1."
Corporations that donate gifts can get a tax deduction and all donations go directly to peoplein need.