Salvation Army gearing up for annual Project Angel Tree
Sign-up scheduled to begin Saturday at VF Outlet Mall
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Oct. 30, 2006 - While Halloween is only a day away and Thanksgiving almost a month out, Hopkins County Salvation Army is about to undertake one of its important Christmas projects.

Hopkins County Salvation Army is just under a week away from starting this year's Project Angel Tree program, which aids families facing financial difficulties by helping provide a few Christmas gifts for their children.

The concept is simple: Parents start by providing information about their children, such as age, gender, clothing sizes and gift preferences. The information is put on the angel-shaped tags which cover one of two Angel Trees that will be set up at local stores. Anyone who wants to help simply selects one of the tags, buys gifts for their "adopted angel" and retuns the items to the store.

Parents and guardians can sign up for Project Angel Tree inside the VF Outlet Mall, across from Kitchen Collection, on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon, and on Monday, Nov. 6, and Thursday, Nov. 9, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Note that those who sign up for the Angel Tree program will not be eligible for other Christmas gift assistance programs such as Empty Stocking.

In addition to information about the children, those signing up should also bring a driver's license or other photo identification; Social Security numbers for all adults and children in the household; and proof of income for each household member to determine eligibility. Families will be notified of eligibility status by Thanksgiving.

The Angel Trees will be on display beginning Friday morning, Nov. 24, inside the VF Outlet Mall and Wal-Mart. The gifts will be distributed Tuesday, Dec. 19, at the outlet mall.

All Angel Tree donations must be turned in no later than Wednesday, Dec. 13, but Hopkins County Salvation Army Chairman Jo Marie Neal asks that all unwrapped gifts be dropped off within three days of an angel tag being taken from a tree. That will give volunteers time to wrap and tag all gifts, as well as to track the packages and determine if any gift packages need a little something extra.

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