Salvation Army preparing for Christmas Angel Tree program

By Molly Davidson | Shelby County Reporter

Although Christmas may seem far in the future, the Salvation Army of Shelby County is gearing up for the annual Christmas Angel Tree program. The annual program assists in providing Christmas gifts for children of needy families in Shelby and Chilton counties.

“When families cannot afford gifts for their children, they can come to us,” Salvation Army of Shelby and Chilton Counties Corps Officer Jamie Leonard said.

To register for the program, parents must present photo identification, proof of all income, proof of all expenses and birth certificates for each child. After all information is verified, the Salvation Army works with the parents to determine the wants and needs of each child, Leonard explained.

“We talk about each individual child,” Leonard said, noting information such as age, size, wants and needs of each child is recorded so that children can be paired with gift donors.

Donors range from individuals, to corporate groups, to even school groups, Leonard explained.

Since 2012, the Christmas Angel Tree program has provided gifts for more than 1,000 children across Shelby and Chilton counties. This year, Leonard is expecting as many as 750 children to be enrolled in the program.

“This year, we’re expecting a few more because we’re expanding… into Chilton County,” Leonard said.

Parents in need of assistance with Christmas gifts for their children ages 12 and under may apply with The Salvation Army of Shelby and Chilton Counties. Families must reside in Chilton County.

Registration dates are Oct. 6, 7 and 18 from 9-11:30 a.m. or 1-3 p.m.

Parents must provide the following documentation in order to apply: head of household(s) photo ID, proof of all income (including a reward letter for Food Stamps, if applicable), and proof of all expenses.

Registrations are done on a walk-in basis; no appointment is required.

On Oct. 6-7, workers will be at Clanton City Hall taking applications. Those families needing to apply on the 18th, must come to 1040 Commerce Blvd. in Pelham, near Walmart and behind DriveTime Autos.

For the Pelham location, signs and balloons will mark turns off of Highways 119 and 31, and there will also be adequate signage outside to direct parents.

Any questions should be directed to the Salvation Army’s main office by calling 205-663-7105, or by e-mailing jamie_leonard@uss.salvationarmy.org.

Beginning Nov. 1, those wishing to provide gifts can be matched with a child through the Salvation Army’s online service, found at Birmingham-salvationarmy.org/Shelby-county-corp, or at the “centralized Angel Tree location” at Big Lots in Pelham, Leonard explained.

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