Salvation Army’s angel trees changing lives
JACKSON, Tenn. — Doing the most good is the Salvation Army’s mission. Many West Tennesseans consider the angel tree program a tradition, but it’s much more to those that need help. Each Christmas tree covered in paper angels represents a local child who may only get gifts on Christmas because someone adopts an angel off the tree. “Each of these angels represents a real child in our community in need, and so you can buy personally for that child. It has their size, so you can buy them some clothes, and their wish list, maybe if they need some toys or uniforms for school,” Major Jayne Brewster with the Salvation Army said. For some, it’s a jewelry-making kit, or even art supplies. These are simple gifts Santa wouldn’t have been able to leave by himself. The child’s family is carefully vetted to determine need. Major Brewster said there’s nothing like seeing a parent’s reaction when her child gets to have Christmas. “The mothers that receive these gifts, the tears, and the hugs we receive, because they’re just so happy someone in the community thought enough about their own kid to buy, love, and support them,” Major Brewster said. Brewster said for 35 years now, this tradition continues with more success than ever before, but just as many needs. There are 450 angels in the Madison County area, 450 children, waiting for someone to take their name. “This gives you a chance to be a little more personal with your selection. You can buy fora specific child. In fact we encourage you to keep the top of the tree tag so you can take it home, put it on your own tree, and remember the child you helped at Christmas,” Major Brewster said. The angel tree is set up at Old Hickory Mall in Jackson almost every day for people to adopt a child. The Salvation Army said the process is very simple and easy to sign up. They’re accepting the gifts at the location until December 20.