12/01/10 — Angel Trees up at mall

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Angel Trees up at mall

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on December 1, 2010 1:46 PM

Christmas should be a time of happiness for children, but for many, it will be just another day.

The Salvation Army of Wayne County wants to change that. That's why it has put up Angel Trees at various locations. There are two at Berkeley Mall, one at the entrance to JCPenney and one at K&W Cafeteria, as well as one at For Women Only and another at Gold's Gym.

To help a needy child during the holiday season, just go to one of the trees and take a name tag off. The tag will have a child's name, age and what he or she would like for Christmas, said Maj. Andrew Wiley, Salvation Army commander.

"Go shopping for that child and put the tag on your package," he explained. "Gifts must be unwrapped because we have to check everything before it goes out to the family and make sure the gift is appropriate.

"Sometimes people like to be funny and play the prankster and put give a gift they shouldn't."

Return the unwrapped gift to the location where you got the name off the tree. The Salvation Army will pick the presents up and distribute them to the children.

The Salvation Army originally places anywhere from 25 to 50 names on each tree. As the tags are taken, the trees are replenished with new tags, according to Maj. Wiley.

For those who like to do everything online, there is a new program this year through JCPenney.

"We have an online Angel Tree," Maj. Wiley said. "Just visit the JCPenney website, click on the Salvation Army Angel Tree link and you'll find Wayne County children on it. Select a child and purchase a gift online. All the instructions are on the website.

"For somebody who does everything by Internet, that's an option."

The gifts are due back to the locations by Dec. 13.

The children are from families that the Salvation Army has interviewed and has determined there is a need. It hopes to help hundreds of children with Christmas presents this year.

"We need the support this year as much as ever," Maj. Wiley said. "There are a couple locations where we've had trees before that we can't have them there this year.

"If not for the Angel Trees, one of two things would happen: We would not be able to serve all these children or we would be asking someone somewhere for additional donations to pick up the shortfall. We are trying to serve 1,000 children this year through the Salvation Army and tags taken from the Angel Trees will help us do that."

For more information about the Angel Trees, call the Salvation Army at 735-4811.