Angel Tree registration now open

2022-10-16 12:23:49 By : Mr. GANG Li

Sep. 26—The Salvation Army of Owensboro has opened up registration for its annual Angel Tree Christmas assistance program, which will continue until Friday, October 21.

The program, which began with the national organization in 1979, is one of The Salvation Army's highest profile Christmas efforts. It was created by Majors Charles and Shirley White while working with a shopping mall in Lynchburg, Virginia, to help provide clothing and toys for children during the holiday season.

The program provides clothing, toys and gifts for local families with children ages 0-12 who are in need in Daviess, Hancock, McLean and Ohio counties.

Capt. Alyssa Irvin, who is the pastor alongside her husband Lt. Judah Irvin, said one of the changes for this year's event included moving up the registration time frame and process to best accommodate families.

"It normally happens in October, and we do in-person applications, but COVID has kind of changed stuff for us," she said. "Now we have the ability to do online applications.

"This gives parents a longer opportunity to apply rather than there's just one week where they gotta come during the day (at certain) hours. We have working single moms; and for us, this is the most efficient way to get all of the families (and) to make sure no one is looked over or misses out."

Last year, Irvin said people came in-person to receive information and an invitation code to fill out the application online.

This year, a specific QR code was created on the organization's Facebook page that will bring people to the registration form directly.

"All they have to do is put in their zip code and they can apply online and then upload their documents by simply taking a photo with the cellular device or tablet," she said.

Irvin hopes the changes will help increase participation in the program and allow her to start approving applications earlier and printing out Angel tags sooner.

The physical Angel Trees, which are set up at local companies, are decorated with numbered paper Angel tags with an age, gender and wishes of a child in need of presents.

Contributors remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase appropriate gifts for the child or children that are described on the selected tags.

Locations that will have Angel Trees include Walmart locations on Frederica Street and Leitchfield Road, TJ Maxx and Burkes Outlet, according to Irvin.

Irvin said the organization is experiencing a high number of families in need.

In 2020, over 450 children were served while 490 were served in 2021; with the latter being a total of 191 families.

"We have seen the need rise," she said. "I had a mother come in last year who normally is a donor, and she was needing to sign up. We've had situations like that, and we've had families call (last minute)."

But there has still been an "outpouring" of donations, and Irvin anticipates helping between 500 to 550 children this year.

"The one good thing I have just loved about Owensboro is that Owensboroans love to take care of their people," she said. "We had every Angel adopted last year."

The distribution of gifts for the families will take place Tuesday, December 20 at its facility at 215 Ewing Road through a drive-thru service.

Each registered family will also receive a Christmas food box.

Registration forms can be found at facebook.com/salvationarmyowensboro or saangeltree.org.

Those who are registering for assistance will need a form of identification for all adults in the home, birth certificates for all children 12 and under, custody documentation (if applicable), food stamp award letter (if applicable), clothing sizes for children, two wishes and two needs for each child.

Irvin said those interested in sponsoring a child should have the gifts they will donate ready by Tuesday, December 13.

Anyone with questions, problems with the registration site or needing an alternative way to register can contact Irvin at 270-685-5576.

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