The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program has a special place in Betty Chandler’s heart. Her love of the program began in 1994 when Major Rolan Chambless, responsible for the work of the Army in Greater Houston at the time, asked her to investigate having an Angel Tree at The Woodlands Mall in Conroe.
For the first few years, Betty and her husband Cal worked the Angel Tree alone. Now, twenty years later, every volunteer slot is filled and Betty continues to man the Angel Tree each day at the mall.
Betty’s first experience of The Salvation Army came when she was a young girl living in Big Spring, Texas. Her father passed away when she was only seven and her mother struggled to make ends meet and provide for her daughter. At the age of eleven her mother fell ill and a neighbor took them to The Salvation Army to see if they could get some help. The Army was able to pay some bills and rent which eased the burden on the family until her mother’s health improved.
She remembers going to speak with the Officer and offering to pay back the assistance they had received, but she would need to do it in installments. To this day she remembers his response, “We can’t take it back. We gave it in the Name of Jesus.”
Through the committed service of Betty Chandler, and volunteers like her, The Salvation Army is able to provide the gift of Christmas to families in need in communities throughout Texas.