And with the Tri-Cities Salvation Army Band and the Science Hill High School Orchestra Ensemble performing, WJHL-TV broadcasting live and pageant winners from across the region there to help attract a crowd, Angel adoptions got off to a swift start.
Johnson City Salvation Army Capt. Laura Cox said the event is intended to spread the word that the families of thousands of children across the Tri-Cities need the community’s help filling their Christmas wishes.
Capt. Michael Cox said the numbers include 2,052 Angel Tree children in Washington, Carter and Unicoi counties, 1,000 children in Bristol and 653 children in Kingsport for whom the need has been verified.
Paper ornaments bearing each of the children’s first names, ages, clothing sizes and Christmas needs and wishes will be placed on Angel Trees in retail stores in the communities where they live.
Over the next several week, the Salvation asks shoppers to adopt the children from the trees and add them to their Christmas lists. The Angel Tree at The Mall will be moved today to just outside the Sears store entrance on the mall’s lower level. Angel Trees will also be placed at Walmart stores in Johnson City and Elizabethton, and at other locations to be announced at a later date.
Laura Cox asked those who adopt the children from the trees read the wishes and needs listed on their ornaments and give priority to their needs first, then to their wishes if possible.
The deadline for shoppers to turn in their Angel Tree gifts is Dec. 8 at the tree locations or at the Salvation Army office at 204 W. Walnut Street.
The Angel Tree gift distribution in Carter County is set for Dec. 13. The gift distribution for children in Washington and Unicoi counties will be held Dec. 15 at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray.
Volunteers are needed to help the Salvation Army man the Angel Tree tables or process and distribute the gifts and invited to call the Salvation Army at 423-926-2101 for information.
Volunteers are also needed to ring Salvation Army bells at Red Kettle stations set up at shopping centers across the Tri-Cities.
Those who wish to help in the Red Kettle campaign that supports the Salvation Army’s local shelters and kitchens year round can call the Salvation Army or visit RegisterToRing.com to fill out a volunteer form.
Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.