"Angel Tree" impostors go door-to-door

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – The Salvation Army wants you to watch out for some "door to door" impostors. They claim to be from the Angel Tree program, but their actions are anything but angelic.

The Salvation Army just found out about this yesterday, but they're concerned it's been going on for a while, and won't stop unless people know how the Angel Tree program really works. The last known incident happened Monday morning, in Glen Allen. Somebody went up to a man's house, and rang the doorbell.

He said he was there, to get donations for the Angel Tree program...the well-known effort organized by the Salvation Army that provides holiday gifts for up to 20,000 local children. The man at home was getting suspicious.

"He knew something was up right away," said Captain David Worthy, The Salvation Army of Richmond.

He knew something was up because the Salvation Army doesn't go door-to-door for donations, especially not for the Angel Tree program.

"The soliciting that we do is very broad, very public, and it won't be door-to-door," said Worthy.

The most common way to participate in the Angel Tree effort is to go to a mall and "adopt" an angel. It's a wish list on behalf of a needy child. You go shopping, and then return the gifts to the Salvation Army's volunteers...who distribute them. Never give out money to a door-to-door solicitor.

"They're not taking advantage of our organization, they're taking advantage of those who we reach out to and assist," Worthy said.

In this case, the potential victim knew what to do. The Salvation Army wants others to be aware, as well.

"During the holidays, a lot of good comes out but there are also folks who might try to take advantage of those who might not know," said Worthy.

NBC 12 is a major sponsor of the Angel Tree program. You can adopt an angel from now until December 12. For more information, visit the Angel Tree page on our website by clicking here. 

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