CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Halloween is still several weeks away but even before people Trick or Treat, area charities are planning for Christmas morning. That means the deadlines to apply for help around the holidays are coming soon.

“That is what it is all about is the kids,” said Phoebe Whidby, a volunteer at the Salvation Army in Charleston, WV.

Charities in the Kanawha Valley work together around the holidays to make sure all kids have something under the Christmas tree. But if you need help providing toys for your children there are some important deadlines approaching.

“The holidays should be a special time for everyone,” said Brooke Jones, with the United Way’s Christmas Bureau.

The United Way’s Christmas Bureau works with more than twenty charities in three West Virginia counties to provide toys and food.

They have sent out close to 2,000 applications already and they are receiving additional requests daily. This year the Christmas Bureau is asking everyone to return their application by Nov. 5.

“They should do it now because we don’t want them to send in their applications on November 4 and then find out we don’t have the right documents and miss out on the opportunity,” Jones said.

The Salvation Army is collecting applications online and in person. Their deadline is October 31.

“There will be a rush of people coming in here because they didn’t know it was going on and people don’t expect it to be going on this early,” Whidby said.

Charities are expecting more people to reach out for help this year.

“We did over 900 kids last year for the Angel Tree,” said Patty Tilly with the Salvation Army. “We anticipate to see that number go up. We also had more people last year apply for food only. Food has been hard on people.”

Both organizations say the early deadlines give them more time to find sponsors for all the families who qualify for help.

“I tell everybody if you start seeing the Halloween candy in the stores it is time to ask about Christmas assistance,” Tilley said.

The best place to find more information about applying through the Salvation Army is to visit their Facebook page.

For applications and information related to the Christmas Bureau click here.