Angel Tree applications accepted now

Published 7:21 am Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Pike County Salvation Army Angel Tree program is underway and applications are being accepted through the month of October.

No applications will be accepted after Oct. 31, so parents who have children eligible for the Angel Tree program are encouraged to come by the Pike County Salvation Army Service Center on South Brundidge Street in Troy and make application as soon as possible, said Kim May, Center director.

“The Angel Tree program is for children through ages 12 that will not have Christmas otherwise,” she said. “Parents who are making application for the Angel Tree program must bring some their Social Security card and other means of identification, proof of income and expenses.

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“The children who are eligible for the Angel Tree program as of Nov.1 will an angel on our Christmas tree and we will begin looking for those who are willing to adopt an ‘Angel,” May said. “The children will be asked to make their Christmas ‘wish lists’ that we will make available to those who adopt Angels.”

May said the wish lists are not made up of costly items and most of the lists include clothes and shoes.

“It’s up to the person who adopts an Angel as to how much they want to spend,” she said. “We don’t set an amount.”

Last year, 125 children were accepted as “Angels” and all were adopted.

“We were very blessed,” May said. “Most all of the children are from Pike County and many of them come from low-income, single parent families. We do have some children who, because of emergency situations such as illness or home fires, are among our Angels.”

May said the Salvation Army Angel Tree program was created in 1979 by Majors Charles and Shirley White when they worked in a Lynchburg, Virginia shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmas time.

The Whites identified the wishes of local children by writing their needs on Hallmark greeting cards that featured pictures of angels.

“They put the cards on a Christmas tree at the mall and shoppers selected a child to help,” May said.

“More than 700 children were helped that year.”

WMS radio in Nashville, which airs the Grand Ole Opry, was the first Angel Tree co-sponsor in the United States. National publicity on CNN and the Larry King Live show helped spread the word about the Angel Tree all across the country.

“The Pike County Salvation Army is proud to be a sponsor of the Angel Tree program in our area,” May said.

“And, we encourage all of those who can to make Christmas merry for an Angel on our Christmas tree.”

For more information, call May at 334-808-1069.