NORFOLK, Va. — The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program has been a holiday season staple in Hampton Roads for more than four decades.
Every Christmas, businesses, churches, companies and other community groups put up Angel Trees filled with tags that have the clothing needs of local children on them. Usually, people take a tag and shop for the need, helping make Christmas special for a specific child.
The Salvation Army has adjusted the way it's operating the program to ensure everyone involved is safe and stays healthy.
There are now two ways to give:
- Grab a tag from a tree at an Angel Tree pickup location. Purchase the item listed on the tag and return the unwrapped gift to an Angel Tree dropoff location by Dec. 8.
- Adopt an angel, or angels, by making a monetary donation here. Your contribution will ensure local children have new clothing and toys on Christmas morning. The suggested gift is $50 per child.
Officials said the donation deadline is Dec. 8, 2021.
The Angel Tree program represents the needs of thousands of children across Hampton Roads. With your help, we can provide a gift card (restricted for clothing) to the parents of children ages 0-12.
13News Now has partnered with The Salvation Army in its Angel Tree program since 1984. Here's more on the history from the Salvation Army's website:
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 Lt. Colonels 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 local children’s wishes by writing their gift needs on Hallmark greeting cards that featured angels’ pictures. They placed the cards on a Christmas tree at the mall to allow shoppers to select children to help. Thanks to Lt. Cols. White, who was assigned by The Salvation Army to the Lynchburg area, more than 700 children had a brighter Christmas that first year.
Three years later, after being transferred to Nashville, Tennessee, the Whites launched the Angel tree program in 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.