While people might be just as generous as years past, charities are having a tougher time helping families this year.
Thanksgiving getting pushed back a week meant five fewer days of giving for nonprofit organizations relying on donations.
Navy veterans Tamarra Robinson and her husband, Randell Robinson are going back to school full time because they haven't been able to find steady work in the five years since getting out of the military.
All they want is for their two little girls to have a good Christmas.
Both Tamarra and Randell Robinson suffer from PTSD.
Tamarra Robinson said she needs two surgeries before Christmas and the girls have health problems of their own.
Their oldest daughter, Loreli, was just diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and doctors are still running tests on Gary-Lynn.
"Now I'm scared again because we don't know how things are going to be after December, after my surgeries," Tamarra Robinson said.
Salvation Army Maj. John Brackenbury said it's an honor to help any family in need and they have seen more military families coming in like the Robinsons who are being sponsored this year through their Adopt-a-Family Christmas program.
"The generosity of the people in this community has always been fantastic. We would just ask again this year, just to help out, even sooner than they normally would," Brackenbury said.
Your donation won't just make a difference for the holidays. Sixty percent of the Salvation Army's annual fundraising happens between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"We would just encourage people as they're out and see the red kettles, to stop and think of the other families on the other end who are receiving the support.
Last year, the Salvation Army helped 30 million people - that's one person every second. Donations will sponsor 350 Valley families and give gifts to 52,000 children across America.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.