It’s the Holiday Season!
The Salvation Army & WVEC-TV 13NewsNow Kick Off the Holidays in a 30-year Partnership!
Hampton Roads, VA (November 3, 2014) – Most of Hampton Roads is recovering from the Halloween sugar rush while The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command prepares to launch the Christmas season.
At noon on Thursday, November 13, The Salvation Army and WVEC-TV 13NewsNow will kick off the 2014 Angel Tree campaign at Pembroke Mall in Virginia Beach along with an official Red Kettle Kickoff. The Angel Tree campaign provides children in need with clothing and other apparel for Christmas. Kettle donations assist local families at the holidays, as well as all year long.
Since 1984, WVEC-TV and The Salvation Army have teamed up to provide clothes to thousands of children in Hampton Roads. In 2013, the Angel Tree campaign provided gifts of clothing to over 8,250 children throughout the region. Through all of The Salvation Army’s Christmas programs in Hampton Roads, over 21,700 children received toys, clothing and food last year.
“We are embarking on 30 years as partners with WVEC in this effort and the Angel Tree program would not be the success it is without their backing and that of their viewers!” said Major Stephen Long of The Salvation Army.
Angel Tree is an opportunity for the public to “adopt an angel” for Christmas. Individuals should purchase at least two clothing items for their “angel” and return them unwrapped to the location where they picked-up the tag by December 6. Christmas Assistance distribution begins on Monday, December 15 and concludes on Friday, December 19.
Angel Tree was created by The Salvation Army in 1979 by Lt. Colonels Charles and Shirley White when they worked with a Lynchburg, Virginia shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmas time. The program got its name because the Whites identified the wishes of local children by writing their gift needs on Hallmark greeting cards that featured pictures of angels. They placed the cards on a Christmas tree at the mall to allow shoppers to select children to help. Thanks to Lt. Cols. White, who were assigned by The Army to the Lynchburg area at the time, more than 700 children had a brighter Christmas that first year.
Each year in Hampton Roads, The Salvation Army displays over 100 kettles across the region to raise funds to support ongoing work. When a volunteer rings a bell, 83 cents of each dollar dropped in a kettle is used to support Salvation Army programs and services in the Hampton Roads community.
The history of The Salvation Army kettles dates back to 1891 in San Francisco when Captain Joseph McFee was distraught over the growing number of hungry individuals in the city. He placed a pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing that collected money to serve the needy at Christmas. By 1901, the kettle program spread to Boston and New York City, providing funds to feed thousands. Today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists more than four-and-a-half million people during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Public contributions to Salvation Army kettles enable the organization to continue its year-round efforts at helping those who would otherwise be forgotten.
The Salvation Army is grateful for the ongoing support from our partners at WVEC, The Virginian-Pilot Joy Fund, Marine Corps Toys for Tots and Operation Blessing who make our Christmas program a success.
To support The Salvation Army in doing the most good in Hampton Roads, please visit SalvationArmyHRVA.org or call (757) 543-8100.