12/03/04 — Salavation Army needs more angels flocking to its gift trees

View Archive

Salavation Army needs more angels flocking to its gift trees

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on December 3, 2004 1:58 PM

So far this year, the Salvation Army's paper angels far outnumber the human ones. That could leave some local children out on Christmas.

The Salvation Army is trying to secure gifts for more than 800 children this holiday season, but few people have been taking paper angels off its trees. The trees are placed in businesses and shopping centers. People who remove an angel are expected to return with a gift.

"I make the rounds every day. Some angels have been removed, but almost nothing has been turned in," said Edie Best, a social worker for the Salvation Army.

"The need is so great, but it looks grim at this point," she said today.

The deadline for turning in gifts is Monday, Dec. 13, in preparation for the Salvation Army's annual toy shop later that week, so there's still time for things to improve, she said.

"We're hoping the community will respond," she said.

The angel trees are at Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Gold's Gym, BB&T on Ash Street, and two locations in Berkeley Mall, near J.C. Penney's and K&W Cafeteria.

The Salvation Army can also match individuals or groups with families or children if they want more of a one-on-one connection. In some cases, people deliver the gifts themselves. Occasionally, the sponsor takes a family shopping and allows them to buy the items they want, Mrs. Best said.

The Salvation Army works to assure that it helps people who are truly in need, she continued. About 430 families were accepted for assistance after an application process last month.

The Salvation Army checks its list against those of people who are being assisted by the Empty Stocking Fund, the county Department of Social Services, the Family YMCA and other community efforts, she said. "There is very little, if any, overlap."

Anyone who wants to help may go to one of the angel trees and follow directions there or call the Salvation Army at 735-4811 and talk to either Ms. Best or Capt. Beverly Leidy.