The Salvation Army runs their Angel Tree campaign each Holiday season. It puts new clothes and toys under the tree of more than one million “angels” - children who would go without Christmas gifts. Anonymous donors adopt these little "angels" in an expanding Christmas tradition that makes the season brighter for both the gift giver and receiver.
In 2017, The Salvation Army of Paducah served more than 700 children and 300 families with Christmas assistance. Most of those served were identified by an application process or through referrals from other outside agencies.
The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program provides new clothing or toys for children of needy families through the support of donors. Found in local companies and corporations, Angel Trees are decorated with numbered paper angel tags with the first name, age and gender of a child in need of presents. Contributors remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase appropriate gifts for the child or children described on the tags.
Applications are prepared with proof of total household income; residency; copy of identification; social security cards; birth certificates of children; and more. The application process for Angel Tree has closed for this season but the Angel Trees are now ready for your support.
Salvation Adopt a Family at Christmas
Adopt a Family differs from Angel Tree in a few key ways. It doesn’t just provide gifts/toys, but also food, household cleaning supplies, paper goods etc. The program adopts the entire household, including parents, and this is where the free Christmas food often comes into play.
Low income families in Paducah are identified by a local Salvation Army center in the same process as the Angel Tree program. If they qualify, their name will be put into the system along with a list of items they need. Then, based on donations of Christmas food, stuff, clothes, etc. the charity will try to provide them with as much on their list as possible.
The result is that in some cases a donor sponsors the entire family - both children and the parent - or there may be more than one contributor. In either case they donate money, presents, and the requested items - or they can contribute through gift cards.
Want to volunteer or help?
Captain Monica Horton says there are so many ways that folks can help.
“First and foremost, people can help by adopting an Angel Tree angel or even a family,” Horton told me. “If you can’t afford that, donate what you can afford, and we can match those items with an angel.”
Donations can be unwrapped, new toys or games, gift cards, clothing, or money through the red kettles. If you can donate your time, contact Christmas Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator Glenda Winchester at 270.201.8951 to schedule a training to ring the bell for the Salvation Army.
Angel Trees will soon be available all over Paducah at places such as Walmart, Kentucky Oaks Mall, and Pizza Inn. You can also call the Salvation Army to choose an angel. All donations should be received by December 12, so that they may be distributed on December 18. For more information, contact Captain Horton at 270.366.3682.