JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - This Holiday Season isn't looking very bright for over 1,300 Region 8 families.
The Salvation Army has Angel Trees out at multiple locations in Jonesboro and Paragould.
Lieutenant Angela Sadler with the Salvation Army in Jonesboro said as large as that number is, it's likely to go up.
"As of today, we are helping 1,313 families," Sadler said. "However, we are still taking fire victims. So, as those come in we will still put those out."
Each angel represents a little boy or girl in Craighead, Greene, Mississippi, or Poinsett Counties.
"Low income families are just barely making it by," Sadler said. "Just making it to do their regular monthly expenses. And to provide something at Christmas for a child who might not have Christmas, it just gives them hope."
Sadler said the process is simple.
"Just pull an angel off the tree," Sadler said. "That's a wish list. It has the kids age, sizes and gender on it. What we like to be able to put out the door is two gifts and an outfit. And all kids at this time of year need shoes and they need jackets. So, that's our bottom line list of what we would like to see to give them."
Sadler said without the help of Region 8, many children won't get a Christmas this year.
"The families that we serve are hitting rock bottom," Sadler said. "They have nothing. They have nowhere else to turn and they come to us. Not only are we providing them with material items, but we're providing them hope for something that they can't even see past what their day is experiencing."
Sadler said the stories they see every day in the people they strive to help is heartbreaking.
"We had a lady come in when we were doing our sign ups," Sadler said. "She had just buried a loved one and had gained custody of her siblings. So, not only was she needing to sign up her own children, but then she had her own siblings added to that. And it was just heartbreaking. For things that just happen out of nowhere and you just find yourself in financial need."
Angel Trees are in multiple locations.
"They can drop by our offices on Cate Avenue or go by any of the locations that we have Angel Trees," Sadler said. "We have trees at the Turtle Creek Mall, Kroger and at Ta Molley's in both Jonesboro and Paragould."
Region 8 residents have until the first of December to make sure a child has a Christmas gift waiting for them under the tree.
"We would like everything to be back by December 2nd," Sadler said. "I will extend that to December 7th because it takes us a little bit of time to process in the warehouse to get everything ready to make sure things are age appropriate and size appropriate for them."
Sadler said nearly every angel on their tree represents a small child.
"The families come in all kinds of different sizes," Sadler said. "Each individual child that is on that application is called a single angel. We have 982 of them. That's how many children will not have Christmas without the communities help."
Again, Angel Trees can be found inside the Mall at Turtle Creek, Kroger and the Ta Molly's locations in both Jonesboro and Paragould.
The Salvation Army office is located on Cate Avenue in Jonesboro.
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