FAIRMONT — Two-hundred Marion County kids might wake up to a Christmas void of presents this year.
The Salvation Army’s annual Angel Tree charity program provides presents to children all over the county and many families in Marion County rely on it to give their kids a good Christmas.
But this year, the Fairmont office of the Salvation Army of Monongalia, Preston and Marion Counties still has almost 200 angels who haven’t been adopted and the deadline is quickly approaching. They’re asking the community to step up and help give these children the Christmas they deserve.
“If you adopt an angel, what it does is it provides a child with Christmas presents,” said Heather Hawkins, director of the Fairmont Salvation Army. “We typically hope they get a warm outfit, a coat and a toy or two.”
The Angel Tree allows underprivileged children or families experiencing crisis the opportunity to have a good Christmas.
“This gives the parents the ability to give Christmas to their children,” Hawkins said. “Without this, a lot these kids would have nothing under their tree on Christmas morning.”
The deadline to adopt a angel from the tree is Dec. 6, according to Hawkins, there are many angels in the Marion County area yet to be adopted.
To adopt an angel off the tree, simply go to the White Hall Walmart customer service area and take a child’s tag off the tree and follow the instructions to shop for the child’s presents. Or stop in to the Fairmont Salvation Army thrift store and pick out an angel.
“All [the donor] needs to do is buy the child some Christmas presents and return them to us,” Hawkins said. “We organize everything and distribute it.”
For many of the families who sign up for the Angel Tree, this is the only way they can provide critical needs to their children, items such as warm clothes and a winter coat are at the top of nearly every list.
“Many of these families are asking for things for them like coats and blankets and things that we consider basic needs that these children don’t have,” Hawkins said. “A lot of them won’t have any Christmas presents on Christmas morning.”
For more information about the Angel Tree program, call the Fairmont Salvation Army at 304-366-2601.