December 17 – 7 am to 8 pm
An idea that began with the Salvation Army and one Walmart store in Houston has now snowballed into a partnership that will involve more than 120 store locations across Central Texas. Walmart Red Kettles from Waco, Austin, College Station, Lufkin, Beaumont, Houston and everywhere in between will be manned by volunteer Walmart Associates on December 17 from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Many thanks to Walmart Associates for this volunteer effort.
Cleburne, TX –The Walmart Distribution Center in Cleburne, Texas, was transformed on a mid-December morning, looking more like Santa’s workshop than a warehouse! Salvation Army staff were overwhelmed to see the walls lined with dozens of brand new bicycles and a train engine pulling eight carriages full of toys, all part of a Toy Drive benefitting The Salvation Army Angel Tree program.
Nancy Holt, Cleburne Salvation Army Service Center Administrator was thrilled to accept 139 bicycles and over 1000 thousand toys on behalf of the Salvation Army. She told the employees, “The Salvation Army accepted 800 applications for Angel Tree assistance in Cleburne this year and today we still have 200 that are not adopted. Thanks to your incredible generosity hundreds of children, right here in our community, will have a Christmas”. The Walmart facility has over 900 employees and distributes to retail stores throughout the North Texas area. Walmart staff began collecting toys and bicycles as early as May after Holt was invited to share the details of the Angel Tree, speaking to four shifts over two days, promoting the Toy Drive.
After the presentation, employees formed a human assembly line through the warehouse to the front door where the bicycles and toys were loaded onto a Walmart truck and transported to the Salvation Army Christmas warehouse in Cleburne. Salvation Army staff and bell ringers encouraged and thanked the employees as the gifts were loaded. Tim Cooper, Walmart management, said, “The employees have assisted The Salvation Army in the past but never to this scope. We are so happy to help in this way and support the Salvation Army.”
Midland, TX (12/05/09) – The third annual Fly-In benefitting the Salvation Army Angel Tree program in Midland and Odessa took place Saturday, December 5. This event, sponsored by Chapter 123 of the Experimental Aircraft Association, included free airplane rides for children between 8 and 18 who donated a toy to The Salvation Army Angel Tree.
This Christmas the Salvation Army in Midland has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people requesting help through the Angel Tree program. “In 2008, 1400 people received assistance but this year we expect to deliver gifts to almost 1900 children and seniors” said Captain Russ Keeney, Salvation Army Officer in Midland. “The Fly-In is a great help in this effort and is the EAA’s first time association with The Salvation Army.”
Steve Clinton, President of Chapter 123 said, “This event is a great way to expose young people to aviation as well as support The Salvation Army at this special time of year.”
The event attracted a helicopter and several aircraft from Midland and beyond. John Windham, whose daughter enjoyed her first-ever flight during the Fly-In commented, “We love the Salvation Army, what they do and what they stand for. They are a big part of why we are out here today.”