Through The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program, necessities and Christmas gifts are provided for disadvantaged children from infants to age 12 and for seniors citizens who are 60 years and older. Angel Trees are placed in area stores during the first part of November.
Each tree is adorned with angel tags containing a child's age, gender, clothing sizes and toy wishes. Community members select an "angel," purchase items for that child or senior based on the information on the tag, and then return the gifts to the store where the angel was chosen.
The Salvation Army provided 4,763 angels with Christmas joy in 2012!
In order to qualify, applicants must meet income guidelines and not be receiving aid from other Christmas programs. Angel Tree Registration begins in October.
If you are interested in volunteering for the Angel Tree Program, please sign up online . If you have questions, please call 423-756-1023 .
Angel Tree History
Along with the familiar Red Kettles, the Angel Tree program is one of The Salvation Army's highest profile Christmas efforts. Angel Tree was created by The Salvation Army in 1979 by Majors Charles and Shirley White when they worked with a Lynchburg, Virginia, shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmas time.
The program got its name because the Whites identified the wishes of local children by writing their gift needs on Hallmark greeting cards that featured pictures of angels. They placed the cards on a Christmas tree at the mall to allow shoppers to select children to help. Thanks to the Whites, who were assigned by The Army to the Lynchburg area at the time, more than 700 children had a brighter Christmas that first year.
Three years later, when the Whites were transferred to Nashville, Tennessee, Angel Tree was launched in the Music City. WSM radio, which airs the Grand Ol' Opry, came on board that year as the first Angel Tree co-sponsor in the U.S.
Because of the on-air promotion on WSM in Nashville, as well as national publicity on CNN and the Larry King Show, news of Angel Tree spread across the country like wildfire.