Every year the Salvation Army puts together ‘Angel Trees’ throughout town to help the local children in need during the Christmas season. However, there are two significant differences this year—the rise in angels and the lack of adoptions.
“We are not getting them in as quick,” Salvation Army Captain Lisa Good shared. “We did go over the limit this year. We typically take 400 angels, this year we took 458, and people keep calling.”
The Angel Adoptions program opens their registry website every year, usually in September or October. This is where people can go online, register their child/children in order to receive Christmas assistance. Assistance can come in the way of clothing, shoes, toys, anything that the child needs or wants for Christmas.
In November, the Salvation Army volunteers go through the list and print out the angel sheets to hang on Christmas trees at local restaurants and businesses, such as Baptist Hospital, GE, Walmart and Carharrt. People can take an angel and buy what is on the list, typically $50 or less, and can drop it off at either the location in which they took the Angel from, or direct drop off to the Salvation Army of Madisonville, located at 805 McCoy Avenue.
Upon donation drop off, volunteers go through everything to make sure that the items purchased are in fact the items that were requested. Once verified the gifts are placed in an unwrapped box and are marked ready for the families to pick up for their children. Complimentary gift wrap is available to be added upon request.
“This really is a joint effort putting this all together. This has been a tougher year for most. There are a lot more families in need, more than ever. If the entire community pulls together we can reach our goal.”
The organization offered a special thank you to Carharrt who donated over 400 boxes for the gifts to be placed in, and the Hopkins County Jail who put all of the boxes together. The Salvation Army only has four volunteers so the assistance was a huge help.
The Salvation Army of Madisonville serves roughly 150 families in Muhlenberg County and more than 350 families in Hopkins County. They also provide a weekly soup kitchen, Mondays thru Thursdays, from 11a.m. until 12:30p.m. Serving roughly 40-50 people daily, this is a free, show-up when hungry no questions asked service.