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 Majors Charles and Shirley White when they worked with a Lynchburg, Virginia shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmastime.
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 the Whites, 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.
Who Angel Tree Serves:
Angel Tree gives individuals and partnering corporations an opportunity to adopt less fortunate children and seniors who would otherwise receive very little or nothing during the holiday season and provides them with personalized gifts and necessities. 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.
2013 Angel Tree:
The Salvation Army Nashville Area Command reports the level of Angel Tree assistance has remained steady for the past two consecutive years. In 2013, the Angel Tree program assisted 4,092 families in the Greater Nashville Area. Over 35,000 gifts were distributed to 9,696 pre-screened “angels”–impoverished children and elderly.