Angel Tree Program to Serve 11,000 Central Texas Children this Christmas
Since 1979, The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program has helped to fulfill the Christmas wishes and needs of children up to 12 years old throughout Central Texas. Low income families applied to the program before November 1. Parents or guardians provided The Salvation Army with a Christmas wish list for each child that includes new toys or games, along with clothing and shoe sizes. Donors then can “adopt” each of these Angels and fill an Angel Tree bag with gifts chosen for each child. Gifts are then distributed to parents a week before Christmas.
This year, The Salvation Army Austin has a record number of children in its Angel Tree Program. There are over 11,000 Central Texas children needing Christmas assistance. That’s a 23% year over year increase from 2021 of nearly 8,500 - which on its own was a record year. Fulfilling Christmas wishes for this amount of children takes support from the whole community.
We took some time to speak with Drew Davis, long time Angel Tree supporter, to learn more about what drives her family to participate in this program year after year. Drew first got involved with Angel Tree when she was working with a car dealership as a community liaison. That Christmas, they decided to do a “secret santa” where they selected five nonprofits. “The Angel Tree was one of the projects we picked. I selected five children from the Angel Tree to shop for. I remember looking at the first list and seeing that the greatest Christmas wish for that particular child was socks. I cried right on the spot and pledged to adopt angels every year,” said Drew.
After participating that first year, Drew wanted to learn more about how the program works. “I wanted to learn more about The Salvation Army, so we set up a tour of the Christmas Warehouse. I learned so much and saw how many children and families The Salvation Army was serving over the holidays. We also saw how many families were not getting adopted by the community, and that's when we pledged to personally increase our donation and adopt as many children as we could handle.”
When asked what her favorite part of the Angel Tree program is she responded, “I love that the presents still get to be given to the children from the caretakers and families. The shopping is SO much fun! But, there is something very special and dignified about the presents still being given to the children from their primary caregivers. I love how that process works.”
We are so grateful for the Davis family and all of our other Angel Tree partners. Fulfilling Christmas wishes for 11,000 children is a feat that requires a LOT of support from the community, and Central Texas hasn’t let us down yet.
Visit doingmostgood.org/Angel to “adopt” an angel today and bring the joy of Christmas to a child in our community.