Call for Angels begins

Published 8:16pm Thursday, October 18, 2012

For most children, the sight of a glowing Christmas tree with brightly colored wrapped gifts tucked underneath is an expected image on Dec. 25. However, for others, this is something that only exists in holiday movies and on greeting cards.

Through their annual Angel Tree program, the Salvation Army will be making sure less fortunate children in the area don’t miss out on opening a present Christmas morning.

Maj. Mary Welch, corps officer for the Salvation Army, said 169 families have already signed up for the program this year, and that number will only grow.

“Slots are filling up fast,” Welch said. The deadline for families to sign up for the program is Oct. 31.

Welch said she looks at several areas for families to qualify, such as income and spending needs. Then, children are asked what items they need and what items they would want as a gift.

Once all of the families have been selected, then people can visit the office and choose a child to sponsor.

“We’re one of the poorest areas in Alabama,” Welch said. “So it’s important that we make sure these children have a decent Christmas.”

In the past, children have asked for items as large as a bicycle and as small as a basketball or doll, Welch said.

Although most select one child to sponsor, Welch said several people can also sponsor one child.

“There are people that go together because maybe one person can’t do it alone,” she said.

Once all of the gifts have been submitted, they are brought to the Old National Guard Armory on Dallas Avenue where parents can pick them up.

“We’re not trying to be Santa Clause,” Welch said. “We’re allowing the parents to do that.”

The program has always been a success, Welch said, and she knows this year will be no different.

“I think it makes us feel good that we can help somebody who might not have a nice Christmas,” she said. “There’s always somebody in worse shape than we are.”

For more information call 872 1646 or visit the office located at 2104 Franklin St.

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