The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

November 25, 2010

Salvation Army Angel Tree project provides Christmas gifts for local children

ENID — The greatest thrill at Christmas is seeing children’s eyes light up when they see what is waiting for them under the tree.

However, some children will receive nothing or very little because their parents cannot afford to buy them much. The Salvation Army Angel Tree project urges Christmas shoppers to be “angels” and buy presents for those children.

“The Angel Tree project is designed to help adopt children for Christmas, or sponsor them,” said Capt. John Dancer, administrator and pastor of the Enid Salvation Army post. “People came to us and signed up for the program.”

The Angel Tree is set up in Oakwood Mall near JCPenney, but Dancer said only one day is left to sign up to bring presents. Dec. 1 is the only day remaining to adopt a child and that must be done by appointment. In addition to Oakwood Mall, there are a number of places where Salvation Army Angel Trees are set up. Those locations are Evans Pharmacy, Evans Express Pharmacy, Atwoods and ACB Bank in Waukomis.

“There are a great many people working two jobs to make ends meet and are still struggling,” Dancer said. “Single mothers, single fathers, it’s amazing.”

The Salvation Army program partners with Prison Ministries, which also provides angel trees.

“This program has been around many, many years. We and the Prison Ministries are the only ones allowed to use Angel Tree, it’s copyrighted,” he said.

Lorri Edwards, of Enid, said she was surprised when shopping so many children wanted a bicycle.

“It broke my heart, that is a special gift, but all these kids need a bicycle,” Edwards said.

Edwards told all of her friends to spread the word and ask people to purchase bicycles. She said the bicycle she bought cost $70, which was split between Edwards and her mother.

“I don’t really know a lot of people in trouble. We had a rough year last year, but this year we’re doing better and our kids helped pick out stuff for the other kids. They thought it was fun,” Edwards said.

She urged people to become involved in the program.

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