Last day to donate for Angel Trees

Freshman+Cort+Rainwater+places+an+%27angel%27+card+on+the+Salvation+Army+Christmas+donation+tree.+Applications+to+sign+up+end+today.

Photo by Holland Rainwater

Freshman Cort Rainwater places an ‘angel’ card on the Salvation Army Christmas donation tree. Applications to sign up end today.

Story by Langley Leverett, editor in chief

Tearing open the box, she starts to laugh joyfully. She doesn’t know the person, nor does she know why they chose her name. She is just thankful that someone thought of her during Christmas. She squeezes her eyes shut and promises to pay it forward, while murmuring a ‘thank you’ for her blessings.

The Salvation Army, a Christian non-profit organization, has been working since October to provide underprivileged children with Christmas gifts by stationing ‘Angel Trees’ in Central Mall. Applications to sign up end today.

Donors anonymously select a name hanging from the tree, and are then asked to provide amenities and gifts for their ‘angel.’ These gifts will then be administered throughout the holiday season.

These donations are often crucial for children during the winter months, as they can provide warm clothing, hygiene products, food or other necessities. Donors can also choose to give gifts such as toys and other luxury products, as many won’t receive anything throughout the holiday.

It trains us to have a giving heart and to seek where the need is in our community.”

— Judy Farley

“We have over 400 families this year, over a thousand children, and they come in October. The families fill out applications and we check their income to make sure that their eligible. Then they tell us what they need, and what the children want. The communities in our area all participate and they pick children, so we have trees in Ashdown, Hope, Atlanta, Queen City, and of course a lot of the churches,” volunteer Judy Farley said. “It just fills a need because their families are financially disadvantaged, so they just can’t afford it for themselves. It just helps the children, and it helps us– the volunteers– because we enjoy it. I think we get more out of it than the children do in a lot of ways because it trains us to have a giving heart, and to seek where the need is in our community.”

Students at Texas High also have the chance to volunteer with the Salvation Army.

“I really just love giving back and doing everything for the community, and giving back during Christmas,” sophomore Autumn Parrott said. “It teaches you how to be responsible and to feel lucky for what you have. It’s important to be thankful for what you have.”