Salvation Army ‘angel trees’ coming to CSRA to provide gifts for kids

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:27 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - On Monday, we’ll start to see Christmas trees go up inside our local Walmarts. If you spot one, it’s one of the Salvation Army’s angel trees.

The idea is to take a tag from the tree. It’ll have a child’s name on it and a list of gifts they want for Christmas. The Salvation Army has 800 angels they want to see the community adopt this year.

Some people may walk by angel trees and think nothing of it – but if you take the time to read what’s on it, you’ll realize it’s not just an ordinary tree.

“There are many families who are working hard, but still can’t necessarily provide for their children and so it’s a great thing to be able to come and pick a tag off the tree and go and shop for that child, and even take your own children and teach the importance of what the season is about; about charity, hope, and joy,” said Jonathan Raymer, commander of Salvation Army Augusta.

Eight-hundred names of local kids are on the trees this year, and you can grab as many as you want.

“Christmas truly is about hope, and giving people hope and so I am grateful to get to do that. Is it busy? Is it tiring? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Yes, a hundred times, yes,” he said.

The Salvation Army is also looking for volunteers to help as the gifts people get for the kids roll in.

“As the gifts come in, as people pick off the tag and go in and shop and the gifts come in for us to help sort them into boxes for each family and that’s a big task as well,” said Raymer.

He says once the gifts are delivered the joy on families’ faces is priceless.

“Every so often you get one who when you hand them their stuff they just start weeping with joy, and they weren’t sure how they were going to provide Christmas,” he said.

And don’t forget the Salvation Army just kicked off their Red Kettle Campaign and are still looking for volunteers to fill 6,400 hours of bell ringing this holiday season.

“It’s just a fun experience too. It’s nice to stand outside, ring a bell, tell people Merry Christmas as they walk by and it’s just a great time,” said Raymer.

If you want to adopt angel trees will go up Monday at local Walmarts. You can also head over to the Kroc Center on Broad Street. The goal is to have all the gifts ready to go by Dec. 10.

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