By Riley Manning/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – As Christmas draws nearer, Salvation Army’s angel tree is in dire straits.
According to Susan Gilbert, director of social services for Salvation Army, 16 Christmas lists have yet to be adopted. In addition, the deadline for returning gifts to the Army for distribution passed on Dec. 9 with around 100 lists unreturned.
“Last year 200 lists weren’t returned at this time, but all of them had been adopted,” Gilbert said.
The angel tree is a tradition for the nonprofit. Christmas wish lists are turned in to the army by families in need. The lists are then made anonymous and hung on the tree, which is placed in the food court of The Mall at Barnes Crossing. Charitable mall shoppers register to fulfill a list, purchase the items, and return the gifts to the Army, who distribute them to their respective families.
“Lots of people sign up for a list and forget about it. If someone is unable to fill a list, they should let us know,” Gilbert said. “We could always use people’s donations of toys and clothes.”
Gilbert said the nonprofit will distribute the gifts on Dec. 18, but they must have gifts before then.
“The economy is still not where we want it to be, but the lists that haven’t been adopted ask for very basic things like pajamas and board games,” she said.
A typical list will cost a shopper around $75.