Salvation Army kicks off Angel Tree campaign in Elizabethton Carter County Car Club adopts first 75 angels

Published 7:58 am Friday, November 16, 2018

The Salvation Army kicked off its mission to help as many local kids as possible have a Merry Christmas.

The organization was at the Walmart in Elizabethton Thursday to open up this year’s Angel Tree program. The program allows individuals to personally buy for children who may not be in as fortunate of a situation as other kids. On hand during the event was the Elizabethton High School Advanced Ensemble which serenaded members of the public before the angels were hung on the tree.

Salvation Army Captain Michael Cox, who has been with the organization for 12 years, said that 612 children are a part of the program this season. The Angel Tree program was started by Salvation Army’s Charlie and Shirley White in Lynchburg, Va.

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“They saw kids that needed toys and a reason to wake up excited for Christmas morning,” said Cox. “With funding always being tough, they thought instead of the Salvation Army doing it by itself, why don’t we get the community more involved. It makes it more personal when you shop for the child instead of just donating a few dollars.”

The Carter County Car Club, like every year, attended the opening ceremony and adopted the first 75 kids and began buying items and toys for the children. Club President Ron McCloud said, however, that with the help of a ten percent discount provided by Walmart that the club should be able to help more kids than just the first 75.

“We do this every year,” said McCloud. “We have increased our giving to them every year. We see a real need and we see a real enjoyment for the kids. That is who we are all about.

“We have in our bylaws that all of the money we raise is given to children and charities,” added McCloud.

Cox said that it is always good to see groups like the Carter County Car Club get out and help with programs like the Angel Tree.

“It is always amazing when the community of Carter County gets together as individuals or groups,” said Cox. “But when it is groups, it is even more special because you see the effort the group put in to raise the money. When they take the first 75 or more kids, it is exciting for us because we know things are moving quickly and the program is having a special beginning.”

Cox went on to say that it never fails that every kid gets adopted and that Carter County is always one of the communities that the Salvation Army sees get out and lend a hand with the Angel Tree program.

“There is something about Carter County that they truly take care of their own,” said Cox. “As a matter of fact, the majority of the time we can’t keep the Angels on the tree long enough because the Carter County community adopts them so quick. We are really excited about that.”