Angel tree applications open now

Published 6:22 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Salvation Army begins accepting applications today for its Angel Tree program this Christmas season.

The program’s mission is designed to provide Christmas presents to children under 12 years old who would not otherwise receive presents. Capt. Goldie Rabon of the Salvation Army and organizer of the program said has become increasingly important in the past few years.
“It’s supposed to be an emergency assistance, and we have watched the need rise for the last couple of years,” Rabon said.

In order to apply, families must show proof of residency in Beaufort County, proof of guardianship of children, proof of income and proof of expenses. Rabon said they look at income versus expenses to decide eligibility. The program is set up so members of the community can “adopt” a child for the Christmas season. Goldie said Christmas trees will be set up outside of retail stores, such as Wal-Mart, and decorated with cards with a child’s name, age, gender and clothing and shoe size printed on it. Residents are asked to pick an “angel,” then purchase Christmas presents for the child.

“We give you an idea of what we’d like for you to purchase. I mean, we are grateful for anything, though. But the idea is that it’s an outfit, a pair of shoes and a toy,” Rabon said.

Rabon said the program, on average, serves about 500 families in The Salvation Army’s six-county footprint, Beaufort County included. She said it’s seen some adversity in the last few years, as the building she has used to store toys for the past four years had a mold problem that was discovered just a bit too late — all of the toys had succumbed to the mold by the time they found it. She had to put out requests for donations in the past two years, however, she said, the residents have always stepped up.

“We basically put our faith in the Lord that it’s going to happen. We have no money allocated this year to the program, so we are counting on the community 100 percent,” Rabon said.

Rabon said she’s thankful she lives in an area that is fortunate enough to make the Angel Tree program possible year after year.

“It’s such a giving and graceful community here in this area. They’ve really rallied around one another and made sure our program been a success,” Rabon said.

Families can apply today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Salvation Army of Washington located at 112 E. Seventh St. in Washington.