OUR OPINION: Angel Tree needs more Christmas generosity

By NEMS Daily Journal

Additional generosity is needed from Northeast Mississippians, especially Lee County residents, to help complete the Christmas shopping for Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree, the only source of gifts for hundreds of families and individuals in the area.
Several lists remained available for adoption earlier this week and more than 100 lists already claimed by donors didn’t meet the Dec. 9 return date.
Delays and unfulfilled requests worry Salvation Army coordinators and volunteers who rely on good will and generosity to fill the requests on the lists.
The Angel Tree stands in the food court of The Mall at Barnes Crossing, a hub of regional retail activity where thousands of people with Christmas on their minds come to shop.
The estimated cost for a whole average list is $75, a fraction of what an average shopper will spend for gifts of the season. Even though modest by many standards, the new items under the trees and in the residences of families who submitted requests will make Christmas have the measure of magic and excitement enjoyed by almost everyone.
Just six days from today Salvation Army’s delivery team will distribute the gifts on the lists, but all need to be in hand well before that date for sorting and packing.
The Army director of social services, Susan Gilbert, said earlier if anyone signed up for a list and cannot fulfill the commitment the nonprofit needs to know (call (662) 842-9222 to report the situation).
In addition, the Army will accept donations of cash and of new toys and clothing to help in the effort, but call for information.
The Salvation Army is most visible at Christmas with its bell-ringers at collection kettles, a major source of income for all services, but its efforts extend year-round and virtually 24-7.
The Angel Tree is only one of dozens of services the Army renders to people who are out of luck, out of money, out of a house, out of hope.
The Army steps in and does its best, arguably with the least amount of money possible to achieve results that positively matter.
Consider how much an Angle Tree gift bag will help lift the situation and spirits of a family.
Share the costs, share the time, and make a difference.