Angel Tree donations bring gifts, hope to local children

JACKSON, Tenn. — Christmas came early for some Jacksonians, as The Salvation Army distributed their Angel Tree donations to families on Friday.

“Today is an exciting day where kids are receiving Christmas gifts and their parents are receiving hope,” Lt. Mark Cancia said. “On Christmas morning they will be able to unwrap gifts and celebrate the season of Christmas.”

Cancia says they had over 700 requests, and each one was fulfilled.

“It is priceless,” Lt. Cancia said. “To know that this all came through the generosity of the community, and to be able to be just the middle man of the community’s generosity and people’s gratitude.”

The gifts include anything ranging from stuffed animals to bikes and dollhouses.

Leanna Hatchett with Salvation Army says after spending hours putting together each bag, the best part is meeting the families face to face.

“We actually get to see the families, pray with the families,” Hatchett said. “There was a lady that came in yesterday and she said, ‘I didn’t even know there were people around here that cared. I couldn’t find any family and we needed family,’ and I said, ‘well, you have family right here, right now.'”

Hatchett says the main goal of the Angel Tree project is giving a child the experience of Christmas.

“It is not so much about getting gifts. It is about the child feeling loved and knowing that there is a family, that the child might not get anything for Christmas if not for the love of you and the gifts you bring,” Hatchett said.

If you would like to donate to The Salvation Army, or volunteer, click here.

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