Salvation Army in desperate search for angel adopters

Published 4:05 pm Monday, December 18, 2017

Time is running out for certain angels on the Salvation Army Angel Tree.

More than 600 children, ages infant to 12, are signed up for the program; 110 in Beaufort County have not been “adopted” by sponsors.

Capt. Goldie Rabon, who, along with husband Capt. Bruce Rabon, leads the Salvation Army Washington Corps, is reaching out for last-minute help to get the needs of less-privileged children met.

“Basically, what’s happening is, just like the last couple of years, the economy is still not very good. We’ve maintained our number of angels, but our number of those adopted has dropped,” Rabon said.

The deadline to drop off items was Thursday, but now Rabon is extending the drop-off date to Tuesday. The greatest need is for monetary donations and for sponsors for angels, both boys and girls, ages 10 to 12 years old.

Making up the difference, and purchasing the gifts themselves, will be difficult for the Washington Corps to do this year. It started with a deficit in that the Salvation Army warehouse developed a mold problem due to a leaking roof, and the Rabons were forced to throw away all the extra toys and clothes from past years’ efforts. Budget constraints also play a part.

“In the past, the Salvation Army has had a certain amount of money put aside for that, but because of decreased funding from United Way, we did not have it to put in the budget this year. We did have a substantial donation from PotashCorp, so we did use their donation towards toys,” Rabon said.

Rabon said anyone can stop by the Salvation Army to pick up one or several angels (ornaments on the tree that list an individual child’s Christmas requests), shop for items on his or her wish list and deliver unwrapped items to the stand-in warehouse at Beaufort County Ed Tech, or drop off donations at the Salvation Army on Seventh. She said the wish lists don’t have to be completely filled, but the ideal would be to provide each angel with one outfit, one coat and three toys. Toy choices are limited to items costing less than $25.

Regardless of the lack of angel adopters, Rabon said she is determined to fill those 110 children’s Christmas needs — and the 87 more on the wait list.

“We’ve never, ever, turned an angel away,” Rabon said.

Rabon said they’ve always been able to count on Washington residents adopting their angels.

“We have seen such a beautiful outreach, such an outpouring of love every year. It’s the best community we’ve worked in,” Rabon said.

The Salvation Army is located at 112 E. Seventh St., Washington, and can be reached at 252-946-2523. The warehouse is located on Bridge Street at Ed Tech, through the gate on the 13th Street side of the school.