More than 2,400 area children on Salvation Army’s angel trees

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The most wonderful time of the year is right around the corner, and that means helping those in need during the holiday season.

The kickoff to this year’s Salvation Army Angel Tree was held at the Independence Mall on Monday.

Placed within Independence Mall, the Angel Tree will operate from now until December 13. On the tree are printed angels that have the name, age, and gift suggestions for a child “angel” registered in the program. Each angel is ready for members of the community to “adopt” (purchase gifts) for Christmas.

There are more than 2,400 children on the angel trees this year.

One volunteer says there nothing quite like helping others during the holidays.

“If you’ve ever been at the Christmas center on distribution day and you see the gratitude from the majority of the people who receive help from the Salvation Army, that is Christmas,” Laraine Butler, a Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary member, said. “That is Christmas because that’s what God wants us to do.”

Major Mark Craddock with the Salvation Army says 2020 has been tough on everything and this year’s request have shown that. More than 1,100 families have put in applications for holiday help.

“We’re beginning at the Salvation Army to see the effects long-term COVID-19,” Maj. Craddock said. “As we’re seeing new families come to the Salvation Army for assistance. Families we’ve never seen before, um we’ve got some others we’ve we’re very familiar with and we know that there just in the same types of situations, maybe a little more difficult this year, than in years past.”

As we get closer to the holiday season, Maj. Craddock says anything help.

“Letting community members know that we’re not in this alone,” Maj. Craddock said. “We’re all in this together and anything again that we said we can do to build hope works.”

When ready to return angel gifts to The Salvation Army, you may return their unwrapped, new gifts to the following locations:

  • The Angel Tree in Independence Mall, Wilmington
  • The Salvation Army Family Store at 1411 Floral Parkway, Wilmington
  • The Salvation Army Family Store at 820 N Second St., Wilmington
  • The Salvation Army Family Store at 4566 Long Beach Road, Southport
  • The Salvation Army Christmas Center at 2307 N. College, Murrayville

Businesses and community organizations that would like to adopt angels or volunteer for the program can call Dottie Playforth at (972) 322-9317 for more information.

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