Time running out to donate gifts

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Time is running out for you to give a Merry Christmas to a local child in need. The deadline to return donations for the Angel Tree program is Saturday night at nine.

It's time to act. If you picked up an angel at a local mall or maybe got one at work, you need to turn those gifts in. Families in need will be here starting Monday to pick up donations.

Each year, it takes hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donations to pull off the Angel Tree program. This project provides Christmas gifts for about 12,000 children in need. The Salvation Army has seen about 100 percent adoption for angels, but usually only gets an 80 percent return - leaving a huge gap to fill. That's where you come in.

"We need you to get out there and purchase those gifts if you haven't already; if you have purchased them, you need to remember to bring those gifts back; we want every child in need to have a wonderful Christmas morning," said Jeff Baldwin.

Don't wrap your presents; volunteers need to sort through those. And you can help even if you didn't adopt an angel.

"The easiest thing to do if you are at a mall and you want to get involved, and there isn't an angel on that tree, feel free to purchase some toys from the local toy store or one of the retailers at the mall; you can bring them to the Angel Tree and the volunteers will take them," Baldwin said.

Longtime volunteers like Henry Kidd want folks to know how important it is to follow through with gifts for the angels you've adopted.

"Please bring your gifts back as early this weekend as you can because the cutoff is Saturday night; we start distribution Monday morning; we still have to get those gifts on the floor, so that some angel will have a Merry Christmas," said Kidd.

You can drop off your donations for the Angel Tree at any of these locations:

Short Pump Town Center
Dick's Sporting Goods at Stony Point
Southpark Mall
Virginia Center Commons
JC Penny at Regency Square
Chesterfield Towne Center

You can also come to the distribution center--it's at 8080 AMF Drive in Mechanicsville. Volunteers will be here until 7 Friday night and then from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

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