Hampton Roads, VA (November 1, 2013) – On Thursday, November 14, The Salvation Army and WVEC-TV 13NewsNow will kick off the 2013 Angel Tree campaign at Pembroke Mall in Virginia Beach 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 2012, the Angel Tree campaign provided gifts of clothing to over 16,000 children throughout the region.
“We are grateful for the longstanding partnership with WVEC and the many people in Hampton Roads who support us by taking an Angel Tree tag home. It is truly all about neighbors helping neighbors!” said Captain Brett Meredith of The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command.
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 Friday, December 6. Christmas Assistance distribution begins on Saturday, December 14 and concludes on Saturday, December 21. Applications for Christmas Assistance were mailed to elementary schools, accepted during The Write Stuff back to school distribution and during various days in October. A new revised application schedule has been extended through November 15.
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 150 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.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 83 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to SalvationArmyHRVA.org.