Salvation Army kicks off season

Published 10:04 pm Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Salvation Army is hoping to help nearly four hundred children in Selma and Dallas County have a Merry Christmas through its Angel Tree program.

The program, which started in 1979, is designed to help families in need put a smile on their children’s face on Christmas morning.

“It’s a program that the Salvation Army offers for families that can’t afford Christmas for their children, whether it be because of the loss of a job or some sort of hardship where they can’t afford Christmas,” said Monique Berch, director at the Selma Salvation Army Service Center.

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This year the program will help provide gifts for 397 angels and those angels will be up for adoption at Angel Tree Blitz from 9-11 a.m. on Black Friday in front of Queen City Market.

“Anybody in the community can come and adopt an angel,” she said. “We sit out there and George Henry gets on the radio and invites people to come adopt angels.”

The Salvation Army, with help from Dixie Country, will promote the blitz on the radio in hopes of getting each angel adopted.

Hundreds of angels will be adopted that day, and it is an easy way for people to spread holiday cheer. Angels will also be up for adoption at other places in Selma after the blitz.

“Usually we put [angel tags] out at the library, Walgreens and some of the banks hang them on their trees,” Berch said. “And all you have to do is pick an angel off a tree and buy whatever you want.”

Each tag has the child’s first name, their clothing sizes, a few items they want for Christmas and something they need.

“All they have to do is put it in a bag, bring it to us with the tag attached, and we make sure that it goes to the family,” she said.

Berch said it is amazing to see the community’s response each year to the Angel Tree program.

“It’s amazing sometimes how people just come and they are real receptive,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of response with the blitz. The past few years we’ve had most of our angels adopted through our Angel Tree Blitz.”

Berch said it means a lot to see people helping others and making a child happy for Christmas.

“This morning I had a lady come in to adopt an angel, and she told me a story. She said that she actually lost her job, but she said she has always done an angel, and God put it on here heart to come in and adopt an angel,” Berch said. “To see people like that want to give back even though they are down on their luck, the outpouring of love at Christmas is just awesome.”

The Salvation Army will also kick off its Kettle Campaign Monday, Nov. 21 at Selma City Hall at 11 a.m. The Kettle Campaign raises funds for the Salvation Army.