Angel Tree in Hampton Roads
For 30 years, WVEC-TV 13News has been a proud partner of The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. In Hampton Roads each Christmas more than 60 businesses, churches, corporations, and vendors display Angel Tree for community members to adopt and shop for clothing for a child in need registered with The Salvation Army. Clothing items are then returned to the location where the tag was picked up and The Salvation Army picks the items up from the store and distributes them to the appropriate children during Christmas distribution.
Who Angel Tree Serves
Angel Tree gives individuals and partnering corporations an opportunity to adopt less fortunate children and provide them with personalized gifts of clothing to those who would otherwise receive very little or nothing during the holiday season. Donors can be confident that their gifts go directly, and without excessive overhead, to those who are truly needy since all Salvation Army Angels and are not served by other holiday assistance programs.
About Angel Tree
Along with the familiar Red Kettles, the Angel Tree program is one of The Salvation Army’s highest profile Christmas efforts. 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.
Three years later, when the Whites were transferred to Nashville, Tennessee, Angel Tree was launched in the Music City. WSM radio, which airs the Grand Ol’ Opry, came on board that year as the first Angel Tree co-sponsor in the U.S.
Because of the on-air promotion on WSM in Nashville, as well as national publicity on CNN and the Larry King Show, news of Angel Tree spread across the country like wildfire.