From bikes to big box toys, the Salvation Army of Greater St. Louis passed out joy in St. Ann this week. They gave out donated gifts to thousands of local children and families in need at their Angel Tree distribution center.
“The Salvation Army has the simple mission of saving the world, but we realize that we can’t do that by ourselves, and today’s distribution is a perfect example of that. It’s because of the generosity and the giving spirit of our community that were able to meet these needs,” said Major Adam Moore, St. Louis Metro Area Commander.
The Angel Tree initiative began taking gift donations back in October. Moore says it has generated more than 15,000 gifts to give to over 5,000 children in marginalized areas in the St. Louis community.
With thousands of gifts to pass out over the course of just three days, over 600 volunteers came out to support this mission including Kate Ferguson who has been a volunteer with this event for over 10 years.
“I’m a runner typically which is running the gifts out to the families and seeing the joy on everyone’s faces so when you adopt a family it does go to someone who really needs it and that’s what great about bringing those toys out to them,” Ferguson said.
Getting these gifts to children and families begins when they are registered and accepted as an “angel.” These children are then assigned a label with their age and gender along with a wish list of items for donors to purchase after visiting their local Salvation Army Angel Tree. Those gifts then come to this distribution center.
“It’s a well-oiled machine. People check in they can get their kids gifts prior to the holidays. I always end with go with the wrapping paper,” Ferguson said.
The Angel Tree distribution day is a part of The Salvation Army’s larger Tree of Lights campaign supporting local families in need even past the holiday giving season.
You can help local families in need by donating to the Salvation Army at salarmy.us/stltol76donation
FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are proud sponsors of The Salvation Amry’s Tree of Lights campaign.