EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree, which helps families in need across the country during the holiday season, kicks off Sunday, Oct. 1 in the El Paso area, Salvation Army announced.
Registration opens at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Angel Tree is a need-based Christmas assistance program that provides children ages 0-10 with new toys and clothes. Space is limited, so parents should register as soon as possible at saangeltree.org. The application window will close on Nov. 1 or when all available space is filled.
“The Angel Tree program provides opportunities for generous donors, families, and businesses to purchase and personalize a gift for local children in need. Angel Trees are typically set up at malls as well as participating Walmart and Sam’s Club stores,” a news release said.
“In addition, local businesses may choose to decorate a Christmas tree at their location with Angels for employees and customers to adopt. After an Angel is chosen and gifts are purchased, the items are returned to The Salvation Army to be distributed in time for Christmas,” the release added.
Along with the iconic Red Kettle Campaign, the Angel Tree is one of The Salvation Army’s most familiar Christmas efforts. The Angel Tree was created in 1979 in Lynchburg, Virginia, when Majs. Charles and Shirley White ran the program at a local shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmastime.
The name was given because the Whites identified the wishes of local children by writing their gift needs on Hallmark greeting cards that featured pictures of angels. They placed the cards on a Christmas tree at the mall to allow shoppers to select children to help. Thanks to the Whites, who were assigned by The Salvation Army to Lynchburg, Virginia, at the time, more than 700 children had a brighter Christmas that first year.
“The Angel Tree is one of The Salvation Army’s best supported programs and in 2022, made it possible for more than 1,200 children in El Paso to open gifts on Christmas morning,” said Maj. Eloisa Estrada, commanding officer for The Salvation Army in El Paso. “We are grateful for this special ministry and for the generous donors who will work alongside The Salvation Army this Christmas.”
For more information about registering your children for The Salvation Army Angel Tree, call (915) 544-9811. Secure donations can be made online at southernusa.salvationarmy.org/elpaso.
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