The opportunity to adopt an Angel online is coming soon.
The Salvation Army Angel Tree
The Salvation Army Angel Tree program provides gifts for disadvantaged children in the Austin area. Volunteers “adopt” angels and purchase gifts to place under “Angel Trees” at workplaces and malls across the city. Soon you will be able to adopt an angel online or donate to the Angel Tree Program.
Listen for Angel Tree Stories on The Majic of Christmas
Listen to The Majic of Christmas on 95.5 FM December 1 – 19 to hear stories of hope and inspiration from Angel Tree families and others served by The Salvation Army.
How Angel Tree works
1. Social service agencies and schools refer families to The Salvation Army for help with Christmas.
2. Participants are interviewed to verify that the family is truly in need. We obtain the name of each child in the family and a list of desired Christmas gifts. Verification is made to ensure that the family is not receiving duplicate services from another agency.
3. Angel tags are printed for each child and distributed through local corporations and organizations, online, and at area malls.
4. Generous Donors select Angels, purchase gifts, and return them to the Angel Tree in December.
5. Upon their return, the gifts are taken to the Salvation Army Christmas Distribution Center for pickup by the Angel families.
6. During the seven day period before Christmas Eve, families pick up their gifts.
Contact your employer’s Human Resources or Community Relations department to request a Matching Gift form. Complete the Employee portion of the form and give it to us when you return your Angel’s gifts.
Questions? Email us at AngelTreeAustin@USS.SalvationArmy.org and let us know how we can help.
History of The Salvation Army Angel Tree
Along with the familiar Red Kettles, the Angel Tree program is one of The Salvation Army’s highest profile Christmas efforts. Angel Tree was created by The Salvation Army in 1979 by Majors Charles and Shirley White when they worked with a Lynchburg, Virginia shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmas time.
The program got its name because the Whites identified the wishes of local children by writing their gift needs on Hallmark greeting cards that featured pictures of angels. They placed the cards on a Christmas tree at the mall to allow shoppers to select children to help. Thanks to the Whites, who were assigned by The Army to the Lynchburg area at the time, more than 700 children had a brighter Christmas that first year.
Three years later, when the Whites were transferred to Nashville, Tennessee, Angel Tree was launched in the Music City. WSM radio, which airs the Grand Ol’ Opry, came on board that year as the first Angel Tree co-sponsor in the U.S.
Because of the on-air promotion on WSM in Nashville, as well as national publicity on CNN and the Larry King Show, news of Angel Tree spread across the country like wildfire.
Here in the Austin area, the program includes Angel Trees in shopping malls (see #3 above) and on-site at more than 200 area corporations, churches and organizations. The local communities have gotten fully behind the Angel Tree program, making it possible to help more than 7,200 children this year in Travis and Williamson Counties.