Salvation Army and media to join in one-day blitz

Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Imagine spending only $50 on a child for all of their Christmas presents when things like Apple iPods and iPads that cost hundreds of dollars top their wish lists. Then there are the American Girl Dolls, the stuffed animals, Hot Wheels toy cars and sports equipment pieces. All of this adding to a total well over $50.

But that is what the Salvation Army is asking for. Each child that is in need of a Christmas from a donation is placed on the Angel Tree. Last year the local Salvation Army had 600 names on that tree and this year they expect to have the same.

“This is the only Christmas most of the children on the tree get,” Laura Beth Boyd said about the Angel Tree. “There are a lot of children in need and many of these families depend on the Angel Tree for Christmas.”

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To speed up the process of having all 600 angels on the Angel Tree taken care of for their Christmas wishes, the Salvation Army is teaming up with WDXX 100.1 Selma for a Radio-Thon. Beginning at 6 a.m. and going until 2 p.m. on Nov. 7, the radio will be broadcasting the “adoption” of these angels as the day goes on.

“About 80 percent of the children on the Angel Tree were adopted during the Radio-Thon last year,” Boyd said. “We didn’t know what to expect last year since it was our first time doing [the Radio-Thon] so we hope the same thing will happen this year.”

She explained that one thing she really wants to get the word out about is the idea that not everyone has to shop for the children they adopt. There are shoppers who have volunteered to go and buy the toys for the children, so they are really asking for donations. It costs $50 to sponsor one angel on the tree.

Major Steve Welch with the Salvation Army said the local chapter covers a six-county area — Dallas, Marengo, Perry, Wilcox, Choctaw and Lowndes. Welch and volunteers with the Salvation Army conduct interviews with those who apply for Christmas gifting assistance to insure that donations are going to a family who needs them. The organization has also put a system in place to prevent recipients from returning the gifts for cash.