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Be an angel this holiday season to a child

Angel Tree tags are located at Walmart, 4200 Western Ave., Anytime Fitness, 1720 Western Ave., First United Methodist Church, 729 N. Central Ave., and Central Christian Church, 800 N. Central Ave.

By KATE THURSTON - kthurston@newsexaminer.com

Christmas is a season for giving and the Salvation Army has an Angel Tree for people who want to help out during the holidays.

Interested people can get an Angel Tree tag from any of four locations and then buy gifts for the family listed on the tag. The gifts will be given by the Salvation Army to local families.

People can get an Angel Tree tag at Walmart, 4200 Western Ave.; Anytime Fitness, 1720 Western Ave.; First United Methodist Church, 729 Central Ave.; and Central Christian Church, 800 Central Ave.

Tags are all for children who reside in one of the three counties served by the local Salvation Army: Fayette, Franklin and Union.

“Each tag contains a wish list for the child that includes several clothing items as well as toys,” Tara Madden, a Salvation Army advisory council member, said.

She wrote, “It can be a fun way for an office, business, school and/or community group to create a Christmas tradition. By taking a tag and splitting the items up (one person buys a toy, one person buys a pair of pajamas, one person buys the slippers, etc.) you can help bring the Christmas spirit to life within your office, business, school, etc. while at the same time helping a family in need.

“It can also be a fun shopping experience to get a group of friends or co-workers together and go shopping on your lunch break or right after work to collectively purchase the items on the tag. Honestly, there is nothing more heart-warming than imagining that child’s face when he or she opens their Angel Tree gifts.”

Madden also encourages families to involve children.

“It is a great teaching experience to take your children and let them pick the tag and help you shop because they are going to pick out items that they like, which in turn might help you with your shopping, too. Plus, what a great life lesson about paying it forward and giving back.”

Once items are bought, they should be placed, unwrapped, in one large bag. The Angel tag should be securely attached to the bag, which should be taken to the Salvation Army at 431 West Western Ave. or to Anytime Fitness by Dec. 14. Salvation Army volunteers and members of the Advisory Council will go through the gifts to make sure that every tag has gifts. The Salvation Army will try to purchase gifts on tags that weren’t taken.

Families will come to pick up gifts on Dec. 18.

Items should be unwrapped so that volunteers can ensure all the children in each household receive equal amounts of gifts.

A suggested value is $15-$30 for each gift.

For more information, call the Salvation Army at 765-825-2011.

The Angel Tree program is one of the Salvation Army’s highest profile Christmas efforts.

The Angel Tree was created by the Salvation Army in 1979 to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmastime.