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Only a few Angels remain

As December approaches, the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree is looking a little bare.

But, Major Tonya Roberts said, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Most Christmas trees are starting to fill with ornaments, but the Angel Tree has seen its Christmas decorations, which hold the names of children in need, steadily disappear. The tree had more than 600 names when the annual campaign began, Roberts said. As of Tuesday, there were only 26 names left on the trees at Walgreen’s and Dave’s Market.

Roberts said it would be wonderful to have every angel adopted before Thursday so all of the attention can be placed on gathering gifts before the Dec. 9 deadline.

“We’d like to get those adopted before Thanksgiving if we could,” she said. “That would really make us happy.”

Now that most of the angels have been adopted, Roberts said it is important for the adopting families and businesses to purchase the gifts and return them as soon as possible. With the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Roberts said gifts can be dropped off every day between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

In her four years in Selma, Roberts said this is the first year they have been this close to having every angel adopted by the end of November.

“Every year we have struggled,” she said. “My friends with Salvation Armies in other towns are just putting their trees out and we are wrapping up. They key is that they are all due by Dec. 9, so for us to be this far out is a huge stress reliever.”

Last year, Roberts said every angel was adopted, but more than 200 were not returned. When this happens, she said they have to use money from the red kettle drive to make sure each child has a gift. This can put a dent in the Salvation Army’s ability to  help the community in other areas. This year, Roberts said she hopes every angel is adopted and the gifts are returned in a timely manner so they do not have to pull things together at the last minute.

“Make sure they turn them in,” she said.

“We still have 600 that need to come back. I’m shopping for 100 Monday, but there will still be more than 500. Some people like to wait until the last minute, but we need to have them in hand so we can put them in place and account for everybody because we give them out Dec. 15.”

For more information on the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree campaign, call 872-1646.

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