By Riley Manning
TUPELO – The Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree campaign kicked off Monday afternoon to the tune of “Silent Night,” sung by the Army’s CeeCee Jackson as she hung the tree with Christmas wish lists.
The tree is set up at The Mall at Barnes Crossing.
Susan Gilbert, director of social services for the Army, said this year the Angel Tree is set to serve more than 1,000 children from more than 400 families. For the past few months, families in need have applied to the Salvation Army to get their child’s Christmas wish list hung on the tree.
Shoppers may choose one of the anonymous lists, which give the child’s age, clothing sizes, and three items the child has requested. Gilbert said the Army is recommending Angel shoppers spend around $75 on their angel’s list.
“We’re seeing a lot of super hero action figures like Iron Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and of course Barbies,” Gilbert said. “If you’re considering spending more than $75, we’d ask you to consider adopting two angels.”
She also said not to be discouraged by lists with more expensive items, like bicycles, as many local businesses often step in to handle those greater costs. Additionally, at Tupelo Walmart and Walls locations, shoppers may choose to fulfill only one wish list item, whether it be a basketball or a coat.
“We’d like everyone to get some sort of hoodie or jacket for Christmas,” Gilbert said. “Because many families this time of year may be trying to save money on heating costs.”
Once a shopper registers to take responsibility for an angel’s list, that child’s Christmas is in the shopper’s hands. The Army asks gifts to be turned in before Dec. 4 and must be unwrapped. If shoppers wish, they may enclose wrapping paper to be used on the gift.
Gilbert said all toys are welcome except toy guns.