, Muskogee, OK

November 2, 2012

Angel Tree registration extended

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— The Salvation Army is seeking families to help — and people to help them — through its annual Angel Tree campaign.

Family registration for the Angel Tree program has been extended an extra week, from Monday through Friday. Angel Trees go up every Christmas season with “ornaments” listing children in need of clothing, toys or other gifts. A related Elderberry Tree lists seniors needing gifts.

Muskogee Salvation Army Capt. Ben Walters said he wants to make sure the charity can help as many families as possible this year. However, applications received so far have come up short of expectations.

“Last year, we helped 580 families, but so far, we are 80 families short of last year,” Walters said. “I can’t imagine that we’d be lower. So we’re extending registration. We’re doing the best we know how to get the word out.”

People may register from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday at the Salvation Army Church, 700 Independence Ave. Walters said people who cannot make it at those times can call the office, (918) 682-3384, ext. 301, to make other arrangements.

People receiving food stamps are to provide photo identification for the head of the household, plus an Angel Tree referral from the Department of Human Services.

People not on food stamps must provide:

• A photo identification for the head of the household.

• Birth certificate or shot record for children ages 12 and younger (to verify ages.)

• Utility bill or other document to verify address.

• Proof of income such as a check stub or Social Security letter.

Families also should provide clothing sizes and suggested gifts for every child under age 12.

Families with no children may sign up for a Salvation Army food box.

The Salvation Army gets referrals for its Elderberry Tree from nursing homes, Walters said.

“Christmas is our busiest  time of year, but who doesn’t like the Christmas season,” Walters said.

The Angel Trees will go up Nov. 17 at several places, including Arrowhead Mall and branches of American Bank of Oklahoma. Walters said the Salvation Army is negotiating with other locations.

“Anyone else interested in having an Angel Tree at their business or church can give me a call,” Walters said.

The Salvation Army will kick off its annual Angel Tree campaign and Kettle Drive from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 17 at Arrowhead Mall. The event will feature music, a gingerbread house contest, an ornament contest and other festivities, Walters said.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogee

You can help

• To locate an Angel Tree at your church or place of business, call Capt. Ben Walters at (918) 682-3384.

• In you are interested in helping at the Angel Tree/Kettle Drive kickoff, Nov. 17, call Capt. Ben Walters at (918) 682-3384.