BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — Angel tree is a community effort where families are adopted by volunteers to ensure they experience the joy of finding gifts under the Christmas tree.
”With the Angel Tree what we're trying to do is to help those families in need to still be able to have Christmas you know the gifts or the clothes that they’d like to have under the tree on Christmas morning,“ said Lt. Timothy Isreal the executive director for the Salvation Army in Brazos County.
Volunteers who adopt families will gather the selected gifts and then, on distribution day, they are collected—this year, distribution day will be a 2-day event to simply reduce the number of people coming by to collect the gifts at once.
”When they adopt that angel, they know specially who they’re shopping for and that the items that their getting for that child is going to go directly to that child,” said Israel.
This year, the salvation army has seen a significant increase in families who need assistance
”I mean in the past we’ve normally served between 750 to 850 families, this year due to COVID were serving over 1,000 families through the angel tree program and so we’ve definitely seen an increase,” said Isreal.
Many who have volunteered in the past, may seek some assistance themselves this year as COVID's economic impact is being felt hard this holiday season.
”Also, there are kids that actually were angels when they were children and now, they’re grown and helping other kids so I find that really nice and heartwarming,” said Aysia Martin a volunteer and Angel Tree coordinator.
Those who once received, are now giving.
”Volunteering is so important once you start working you realize having people that are willing to help, helps move the process along, so I really appreciate people in the community coming to help us whenever they can,” said Martin.
The efforts of the community do not go unnoticed as they come together to support the salvation army’s mission of providing families with Christmas cheer.
The need for volunteers this year has increased. If you’re interested in volunteering you can apply online at salvationarmybcs.org