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Angel Tree 101

So, I have had folks ask, what is Angel Tree? How can I help?  What do I do when I “adopt?”

Because the numbers have risen to historic levels here for this program that has been in Nashville since 1982,  we have decided to provide you with some history and some how to’s on how you can illuminate the world of a child or senior citizen that far out shines any lights on a tree!

History-Angel Tree was founded by The Salvation Army in 1979 in Lynchburg, VA.  Lt. Colonels, Charles and Shirley White wanted to provide needs and wishes to children of the area but rather than utilize a toy store format, they wanted to make it a more personal experience for the shopper.  The tags began as Hallmark cards with angels across the front and under neath, the first name of an “angel” would be written along with clothing sizes, needs and wishes for the child.  This program was brought to Nashville in 1982 when the White’s transferred here as the City Commanders and soon enough Ted Koppel invited the Whites on his popular news program , “Nightline” and Larry King interviewed them on his radio show.

The Process – Families from across 6 counties can register at our Angel Tree warehouse during the month of October on specified dates.  Families must present proof of income along with identification for themselves and their children and from there it is determined as to whether they meet the income requirements for qualifying for the program.  Next, data collected from the applications are entered into a computer and tags are printed with the information.  In November, the tags are distributed to the 4 area malls which host Angel Tree booths for almost 4 weeks. Once the deadline for adopting and returning gifts is made, volunteers and staff will go thru all of the gifts and will sort them according to a code that is assigned to each family.  If children or senior citizens were not adopted, volunteers will browse for toys and clothes that are provided to us by Daily’s Convenience Stores and Toy Field.  Then for 4 days, we distribute gifts to the families who have appointment times and return to the warehouse to pick up their bags.  Generally, we serve 85 families every 30 minutes.

How Do I Adopt Angels?

  • By visiting The Mall at Green Hills, RiverGate, Hickory Hollow Mall and Cool Springs Galleria, 7 days a week from Nov 12th-Dec 3rd
  • Listen to WJXA Mix 92.9 as they do “Angels on the Air”  Every day, the needs and wishes of angels are read via the airwaves and listeners can adopt by calling 737-0929 or online
  • Visit any Daily’s Convenience Stores or Twice Daily Stores and adopt Forgotten Angels!  These are generic angels, marked “boy” or “girl” with needs and wishes that mirror an actual angel.  By you adopting these angels it provides us with gifts in our warehouse for those whose items never came in.
  • JCPenney Angel Giving Tree – by visiting their site, you can adopt angels from all over the US including Nashville!
  • Kroger Food Angels – Starting the day after Thanksgiving, shoppers can visit their local Kroger store and provide a Christmas meal to a family needing a little extra help this season.  Just simply select an angel off the tree and when you check out, you will pay just $25.00.*

What do you mean by Adopt An Angel? Adopting an angel means, you visit one of the options listed above and choose from thousands of angels and shop for it based upon the needs and wishes listed.  You don’t pay up front for the angel, it’s free* to take, we just ask that you purchase 3-5 new items for your angel and return it back to the mall, Daily’s or to our warehouse located at 700 Cowan Street in Nashville.  If you adopt an angel online via JCPenney, you just choose your gifts online, pay for them and they are shipped for free by FedEx to our location.

We hope this helps to answer some of your questions and help you to gain a greater understanding of the program.  We try and stress to everyone that it’s not just the purchase of gifts that you are providing but rather, hope, love, light.  This is a far greater gift, one that will last and stay with them the rest of their lives!

John 13:34-35

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

For more info:

visit: http://www.salarmy-nashville.org or call 733-0627 or 242-0411 or email amanda_grieves@uss.salvationarmy.org

Volunteer Opportunities: Misty Ratcliff – 416-3175 or email misty_ratcliff@uss.salvationarmy.org

All media inquires: Jennifer Eldridge, 242-0411 or jennifer_eldridge@uss.salvationarmy.org

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