The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree season is upon us here in Nashville and as shoppers shuffle through crowded malls, they may see our tall booths, manned by dedicated volunteers encouraging them to “adopt” an angel. These angels reflect the needs and wishes of children and senior citizens throughout Middle Tennessee who would otherwise have little to nothing this Christmas. The gifts that are purchased then delivered to our warehouse, end up in a red or silver bag, as seen in the photo above. Each bag represents a family in the program and when gifts arrive, they are matched with the family bag by name and assigned code. On distribution day, we will serve 100 families every 30 minutes for 3 days with the help of hundreds of volunteers who will collect the bags from the warehouse and bring it out to the families who sit patiently for their name to be called.
Where do these families come from? Who are they? Let me explain. They are your neighbors, your co-workers, someone you go to church with, someone you walked past at the grocery store, someone who stands and waits patiently for the bus in frigid temperatures, someone who waits on you at a restaurant, someone who fields your phone call at an office, someone whose high paying position was eliminated due to downsizing, someone who took ill suddenly and drained their savings paying extensive medical bills and the list could go on and on.
If you were to look into the eyes of each person who registered their family for Angel Tree, you would have the opportunity to catch a glimpse into their world. Deep within the recesses of their blue, green, brown or hazel eyes, you would see sadness, pain and hopelessness, isolation, abandonment and loss. You would see frustration, anger and fear but if you would continue to stare, you would also see a glimmer of belief that someone, somewhere out there cares for them and their many struggles are temporary. Many of these families, we have had the honor of holding their hand and praying with them as their tears silently fall. They clutch our hands so tightly with a grip that so desperately seeks reassurance and love. We are able to smile and let them know that God has them in the palm of his hand and even though they may be walking through a desert, soon enough, an oasis of relief will appear, they just need to remain faithful and trust. For you, the donor who adopts an angel and purchases items for these families, you are providing them with a light at the end of their darkened tunnel. You are showing them extraordinary levels of compassion and love for someone you’ve never even met. This is a life changing event and is never forgotten by the thousands of families served.
We have many ways in which you can help this Christmas. Adopt an angel at one of our local malls, The Mall at Green Hills, Rivergate and Cool Springs Galleria. You can adopt by calling in to Mix 92.9 at 615-737-0929 or click here to adopt online from now until Dec 9th.
On behalf of our ‘Angels,” we thank you in advance for giving back and taking care of those who need a little help this Christmas. You are a blessing!
Hebrews 13.2,”Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”