Salvation Army Begins Distributing Angel Tree Gifts To Parents

SPRINGDALE (KFSM) — The Salvation Army began distributing angel tree gifts to parents on Thursday (Dec. 15).

More than 2,000 children across Northwest Arkansas will receive gifts this Christmas thanks to the generosity of our community.

The Salvation Army said this is the first year that all the angels were adopted.

Rob Ceballos was one of the 100 volunteers who came out to help load the gifts into parents’ cars. He said one of the best things you can do is to give back.

“I think every Christmas is kind of a rough time for a lot of families and it’s just important that kids have the best Christmas they can…a bike, a toy, you know anything is so much fun for these kids,” Ceballos said.

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Billy Barren was also volunteering with fellow co-worker from Sam’s Club and he said it is great to see the family’s reaction to getting gifts for their kids.

“Looking at all the bikes and toys back here is crazy…like how much people gave back and to see it all go to great families in the community,” Barren said.

Salvation Army Major Mary Matthews said give back and they did. They were able to help between 800 and 900 families this year.

“The community just really responded in just a powerful way this year. The angels just flew off the trees long before Christmas and the gifts started coming back and it is just a generous community,” Matthews said.

Matthews said each family also received turkeys, eggs and potatoes.

“Total strangers that don’t know somebody and they have a heart for somebody who might be struggling and buy something for that family that they’ll never see…So it`s a gift given just totally out of love,” Matthews said.

Volunteers will continue to distribute the rest of the gifts on Friday (Dec. 16).

The Salvation Army’s red kettles will be out through Christmas Eve. The money collected from these supports their mission all year long.

ORIGINAL STORY–

Salvation Army Begins Distributing Angel Tree Gifts To Parents

Angel Tree Deadline Approaches

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KFSM)– The deadline for the Salvation Army Angel Tree program is fast approaching, and many children in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley are still in need.

Cadet-in-training Charlsie Godwin said the program is a way for parents who can’t afford Christmas, to still have their kids taken care of. She said in addition to the gifts, all of the families in the Angel Tree program also receive a holiday food box.

“Many children may not have ever experienced the joy of getting Christmas presents, they may not even have a winter coat to wear, clothes or shoes,” Godwin said, “The Salvation Army, through our community, is able to provide those things for these children.”

Prairie Grove residents Holly Griffin and Nine Jinks decided to adopt an angel for the first time this year. Jinks said she was looking for children who needed basic items.

“I have Anthony and Janet,” Jinks said. “Janet is 1 and she’s needing diapers, educational toys and clothes, and little Anthony is also 1 and he wants balls, plush toys diapers.”

Godwin said many of the kids ask for toys or games, but some need necessities like diapers, mattresses and warm clothes. Griffin said the program is a perfect way to give back.

“Showing them the true meaning of Christmas and Jesus I think is very important,” Griffin said.

Godwin said wherever a person picks up an Angel Tree tag, that’s where the gift needs to be returned. The deadline for the Northwest Arkansas locations is Dec. 9, while the deadline in the River Valley is Dec. 16.

The Northwest Arkansas pickup locations are:

Northwest Arkansas Mall 4201 N. Shiloh Drive, Fayetteville
Walmart 3919 N. Mall Ave. , Fayetteville
Walmart 2875 W. Martin Luther King Blvd., Fayetteville
Walmart 2004 S. Pleasant, Springdale
Walmart 2110 W. Walnut, Rogers
Walmart 4208 Pleasant Crossing, Rogers
Walmart 406 Sam Walton, Bentonville
Walmart 2901 Hwy 412 East, Siloam Springs
Walmart 157 Gary Hatfield Way, Huntsville

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