Angel Trees seek giftsThe Salvation Army had more than 100 families sign up for the Angel Tree program this year and names are currently going fast. “The Angel Tree program is ultimately about helping kids have a brighter Christmas,” said Lt. Teresa Brecto of the Jamestown Salvation Army.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
The Salvation Army had more than 100 families sign up for the Angel Tree program this year and names are currently going fast.
“The Angel Tree program is ultimately about helping kids have a brighter Christmas,” said Lt. Teresa Brecto of the Jamestown Salvation Army.
Disadvantaged families have been coming to the Salvation Army since fall to give wish lists of what their child would like for Christmas. Families enrolled with the program could be ones who experienced a recent job loss, illness, death or other crisis out of the ordinary, Brecto said.
“They (people who participate in the program) truly are helping a family that is in need of having a wonderful, special Christmas,” she said.
Right now the biggest need is gifts for teenagers, which Brecto said could be gift certificates so they can pick something out of their choice. Ages of children in the program range from newborn to 17 years old. Gifts for those children could range from clothing to toys or gift certificates.
There are currently trees with tags with a child’s age and gift request left at Walmart, County Market, Stutsman Harley-Davidson and Kmart.
“That tree is very popular,” said Joni Dalke, store manager at Kmart. “Every year the citizens of Jamestown and the surrounding area do an awesome job for the Angel Tree.”
Brecto said she recently added more tags at the tree outside Kmart.
“People in this area are very giving no matter what the economic situation in the country is, people are wonderful,” Dalke said.
Gifts will be given out on Dec. 21 and 22 but Brecto said tags are moving fast.
“If they want to do an Angel Tree I’d do it right away,” she said.
But the Angel Tree program is only one of the ways the Salvation Army is helping the community this holiday season.
Food baskets and gift certificates for food will also go out to 50 families and 26 individuals.
“Food drives are always a big thing for us especially this time of year,” Brecto said.
Last month saw 109 visitors to the Salvation Army’s food pantry, she said.
Food or monetary donations for the food pantry are welcome anytime of the year at the Salvation Army as long as it is not unprocessed venison, Brecto said. Personal hygiene items are also welcome.
“Whenever you’re grocery shopping, throw a few extra things in for a family that’s in need,” she said.
Donations can also be sent to or dropped off at the Salvation Army at 320 First Ave. N.
The Kettle Campaign is also down a bit this year, Brecto said. She encourages companies to match kettle donations.
“It gives me a wonderful tickle-warm feeling that the community is willing to help out,” she said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at email@example.com