CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Each year the Salvation Army of the Coastal Bend helps provide Christmas gifts to more than 1,200 children in 12 South Texas counties through its Angel Tree program.
Polly Harris says she’s been shopping for Christmas angels for the last 10 years, But she says this year it’s more important than ever.
"Especially for families that don't have much anyway, who have been laid off because they have lost their home because not being able to work. You know, this is so important now more than ever,” Harris said. "I hope this is the best Christmas you have ever had."
Lt. Laura Gesner of the Salvation Army of the Coastal Bend says because of the pandemic, this year they are serving close to 400 families compared to 250 last year.
"Parents are finding themselves in need more than ever," Gesner said. "Some families may be finding themselves in need for the very first time."
Here's how it works. The parents of children receiving gifts are able to put their Christmas wish list, including clothes and shoe sizes, on their registration which is then placed on the tree.
The general public can adopt an angel using traditional tags from various Angel Trees in the community or scan one with a QR code to have a child assigned to you virtually.
Givers also have the option to adopt a child online, where access to an online registry with their wish list is provided.
That online registry also helps forgotten angels. who are children whose Angel Tree tags didn’t get chosen.
When shopping for her angel Harris said: "It's my joy, it's my joy."
The Salvation Army has placed six angel trees out in the public and three to four at private businesses in our area.
Gesner said this is the first time in history the Salvation Army will not have to go out and buy toys because there are no forgotten angels. She said the community has been amazing this year to make sure there will be a Christmas for the kids.
If you are looking to sponsor an angel this year, the Salvation Army will take toys up until Saturday. They ask for unwrapped toys so they can know what is being dropped off. Toys can be dropped off at their family store at 5044 South Padre Island Drive in Corpus Christi.
To sponsor an angel click here.