Salvation Army gets ready for Angel Trees

By Galen Holley/Daily Journal

TUPELO – Cooler weather means Christmas is around the corner, and the Salvation Army is getting started early.
The organization is preparing to accept applications for the Christmas Angel Tree.
On Oct. 3 and 5, starting at 8 a.m., and Oct. 4 and 6, starting at 1 p.m., residents of Lee, Union and Prentiss counties, as well as from Amory, Smithville and Wren can register their children at the Carnation Street headquarters in Tupelo.
Last year the Salvation Army helped provide gifts for more than 1,000 children age 12 and under. This year, with many families still rebuilding after the deadly tornadoes in the spring, organizers anticipate even greater need.
“Churches, for example, have done a great job of adopting families, and we don’t want to duplicate services, but as people continue to rebuild they’re realizing they still need some things,” said Susan Gilbert, director of social services at the Salvation Army who also works with the Monroe County Long-Term Recovery Committee and the Unmet Needs Committee.
Those families who have received gifts from the Angel Tree for the past couple of years, for example, should come prepared to clearly demonstrate continued need, Gilbert said. Those who are unemployed must demonstrate that they are looking for work.
Other requirements for registration include a Social Security card for everyone in the household, a photo I.D., birth certificates for children as well as proof of income and all bills, paid and unpaid, for August or September.