JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Salvation Army Angel Tree is in full swing, collecting toys and clothing for those in need during the holiday season. But this year, the number of angels on the tree have risen from last year.
'Tis the season to be jolly, and while the need has increased The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program is working to make those families holiday season a little brighter...one wish list at a time.
"There are under privileged families and we have the privilege of helping them out at Christmas," says Angel Tree Coordinator Captain Lauren Boatman. She says the Salvation Army helped put over 600 smiles on families faces last holiday season and around 12 hundred angels, but this year the number of wish lists grew.
"We have seen an increase. We did 651 families this year. So, we had a 26 family increase and we also did over 1,500 angels," says Boatman. Fifteen hundred angels hanging on trees at several locations around Jonesboro. Boatman says it's an increase brought on by the recession, and in tough times Christmas is often put on the back burner.
"The economy maybe recovering, but individual companies and individuals are starting to recover. So the money that they had is gone, and now they're getting more, but it's just enough to just scrap by," says Boatman.
Each wish list has the child, or in some cases, the elderly's name, age, clothing sizes, and wish. Boatman says the goal is for each child to receive two gifts and an outfit.
"The magic of Christmas is that we get to both give and receive, and because the meaning of Christmas and the spiritual aspects of the joy of giving and receiving. It's wonderful to be able to share that with the community," says Boatman.
But The Salvation Army needs your help. Angel trees are located at The Mall at Turtle Creek, Sam's Club, Big Lots, and Lisa's Home Furnishings.