TUPELO – Without the Angel Tree, Jennifer Lucas’ kids might have gone without Christmas presents last year.
“I think it would have been that way for a whole lot of families,” said Lucas, a young mother of three.
Lucas has worked steadily over the past few years, but raising three kids alone isn’t cheap.
Because someone picked his angel off the tree, Lucas’ 7-year-old son, Bryan, got an action figure of his favorite wrestler, John Cena. Bryan’s little sister, Destiny, got a Hannah Montana movie. The baby, Keiara, got dolls and trucks.
All three little ones have angles on the tree again this year.
Low donations in 2010 have caused the Tupelo Salvation Army to tighten its belt, but the organization isn’t going to cut corners with little ones’ wishes.
“We want every child to have a childhood, and part of that is having something under the tree to open,” said Maj. Sue Dorman, the Tupelo Salvation Army’s commanding officer.
Last year the Army helped provide gifts for 2,000 children age 12 and under.
Between supplementing the Angel Tree, providing food boxes and other seasonal expenses, the Army pays out about $100,000 each Christmas. As the recession rolls on, the organization needs help.
Angel Trees are located at both Walmart locations in Tupelo, as well as The Mall at Barnes Crossing and the Baldwyn Chamber of Commerce. The trees will stay up until Dec. 11.
Contact Galen Holley at 678-1510 or firstname.lastname@example.org
GALEN HOLLEY / NEMS Daily Journal