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How Does Angel Tree Work?

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How Does The Angel Tree Work?

Often when people see a Salvation Army Angel Tree at a local shopping mall, they wonder how The Salvation Army gets the names of the children and senior citizens to put on the Angel tags. They also want to know where the gifts go after they drop them off at the Angel Tree, and how The Salvation Army distributes the gifts to the needy children.


Social Service agencies and schools refer needy families to The Salvation Army for help with toys, clothing and food for Christmas.


An adult family member interviews with a Salvation Army representative who verifies that the family is truly in need.The representative obtains the names of each child or senior citizen in the family and a list of desired Christmas gifts. A community-wide Clearing House is checked to ensure that the family is not receiving duplicate services from another agency. A unique code number is assigned to each family as well as a specific letter code that designates each individual family member.


Information obtained during the interview is printed on an Angel tag for each individual. The tags are placed on Salvation Army Angel Trees at area shopping malls and in local corporations and organizations.


Generous donors select Angels, purchase gifts and return them to the Angel Tree.


Upon their return,the gifts are taken to a Salvation Army Christmas Distribution Center. Volunteers,using the unique family and individual codes, sort the items and place them in a special "family bag." Family bags are then shelved according to code numbers making them easy to locate when the family arrives to pick up their gifts.


During the seven day period before Christmas Eve, families pick up their gifts based on set appointments given during the initial interview process.


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