Although Christmas may be six weeks away, the Salvation Army is already making sure no child awakes to find there is nothing under the tree.
The organization will once again this year provide the Angel Tree program to benefit the needy children of the Alleghany Highlands.
According to Captain Karl Dahlin, the Salvation Army has sponsored the program "for many, many years, and my second Christmas effort in Covington" and each year the number of recipients grows.
"The goal of the Angel Tree is to provide new toys, clothing and Christmas stockings for needy children and food for the family on Christmas Day," Dahlin said. "Those who participate in the program are very grateful. They send thank you cards that I keep on my desk all year round."
Once individuals sign up and are approved, an Angel Ornament is created with gift ideas and is hung on Angel Trees in K-Mart and Wal-Mart as well as a number of corporate trees, explained Salvation Army Social Services Case Worker Kimm Robertson.
Community members, who wish to help take an ornament from the tree, purchase gifts and return the gifts to the same store they picked their angel at or to the local Salvation Army on Lexington Avenue.
The Salvation Army makes sure each child in the Angel Tree program receives a blessing for Christmas. If a child is not picked from the Angel Tree or the gift is small, The Salvation Army provides a trip through The Salvation Army Toy Shop on distribution day. There parents can "shop" for toys purchased by The Salvation Army with funds raised by our Red Kettles.
Registrations are still being taken for the Angel Tree up through December 4 at the Salvation Army office located at 115 S. Lexington Ave. The number to call is 962-6206.
Application will also be taken in Clifton Forge at The Salvation Army Thrift Store November 10, 11, 12th. To register their children, individuals need to bring proof of income (such as check stubs, SSI, Food stamps, bank statements); monthly expenses (utilities, rent, medical); and the Social Security cards for the applicant and children; with photo identification.
Dahlin says, "The Angel Tree is just one of many ways the Salvation Army helps people, but it certainly is the most joyous. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the birth of the lowly Christ child then to show love to his children in this way".