Angel Tree helps provide gifts for Carter County children

Published 8:54 am Thursday, December 18, 2014

NW1218 Angel Tree Distribution D 4x5C

Santa Claus received a little help from community volunteers Saturday as hundreds of Carter County children received Christmas gifts from the Salvation Army Angel Tree program.
The Angel Tree gift boxes, along with Christmas food boxes, were distributed by volunteers at the National Guard Armory on Judge Don Lewis Boulevard in Stoney Creek.
Gift boxes were distributed for 523 families; 392 families received food boxes, and 295 families received gift cards to local grocery stores.
Those picking up their children’s gifts Wednesday morning said their youngsters wouldn’t have received many, or any gifts at all, this Christmas without the help of the Angel Tree.
Wendy Estrada was waiting in line to pick up the Angel Tree gifts for her son.
She said the assistance from the program helped provide gifts and other necessities for her child.
“It really helps a lot,” Estrada said. “I am a single mom, and I don’t have steady work. He wouldn’t have a lot if it weren’t for the Angel Tree.”
Norman Sparks signed up for the Angel Tree and food box program to help fill in the gaps this Christmas.
“It helps when you are bouncing in and out of work,” he said. “It is hard to find a job, just being discharged out of the military. The economy is still bad so there’s not a lot of jobs out there.”
Mary Ward signed up for one of the food boxes to help provide her family with Christmas dinner.
“I’m on a fixed income,” she said. “I’ve raised my granddaughter, and she lives with me with my great-grandson. These are hard times. This really is a blessing. I thank God for it.”
Salvation Army Captain Laura Cox said there were 140 angels that did not have any presents turned in for the distribution Wednesday morning. Cox said the Salvation Army stepped in and made a shopping trip to make sure all the children received their presents.
“We made sure that all the angels were covered,” Cox said. “All but 16 were adopted, they just weren’t brought back in on time. Helping out is what we are here for. We joined the Salvation Army to help those in need.”
Cox said that distribution was running smoothly on Wednesday.
“Everything has been going really good,” she said. “Hopefully it keeps running smoothly. We have had a ton of volunteers here to help out.”

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