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Calling all angels

Capt. Todd Brewer has organized his troops &045; more than 75 volunteers &045; carefully. Now he is preparing to send them marching as to war.

The Angel Tree program will provide clothing and toys for 462 children and youth this year, mostly in Selma and Dallas County. Brewer estimates that the program, which has been in existence in the area for at least 20 years, requires about 1,000 volunteer hours to administer.

During the last week of October and early November parents who need assistance make application to the Salvation Army, not only for Christmas gifts for their children but also for food boxes distributed at Thanksgiving and at Christmas.

The profiles of the 462 angels who have been approved for adoption &045; including age, gender, clothing sizes and most-wanted toy &045; are hung on trees at Selma Mall, in the Selma-Dallas County Public Library, and in the offices of Dr. Bruce Taylor, located on Park Circle, Ste. B, on Dallas Avenue by the old Vaughan Hospital.

Brewer said that there are still 70 angels needing adoption. In case some are not, the Salvation Army makes certain that every child receives gifts.

The program was begun 27 years ago in the Louisville, Ky., area and has since grown in popularity nationwide. Applications are closely scrutinized, Brewer said, and every effort is made to avoid duplication and to ensure the authenticity of information provided by parents.

The program is simple. Those adopting simply go to one of the locations, choose one or more angels, leave their name, address and phone number, and then shop for the child or children they have chosen. The total suggested outlay for each child is $40-50. The gifts are then wrapped and placed in a white bag given out at the time the angel is adopted.

The families of angels pick up their children’s gifts at the Old National Guard Armory on Dec. 22.

Brewer is high on Selma, saying, &uot;Selma

is one of the most generous communities in which I have ever lived.&uot;