LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program will benefit 3,627 children, but this Christmas, The Salvation Army had to supply $16,000 in gifts for 800 children whose Angels were not adopted. These 'forgotten' Angels will each receive a $20 gift card to Target.
Despite the significant cost to the organization, every child at the toy distribution Tuesday morning will have at least one gift. The money to buy the gifts comes from The Salvation Army's red kettle donations, which is their main fundraiser each year. The money from the red kettles is supposed to last the Salvation Army until July. "The kettle money goes to support rent and utilities. And during Christmas everyone that applied gets a $26 food box that the Salvation Army also pays for," said Captain Nettie Morton, with The Salvation Army of Lubbock.
Last year, the Salvation Army of Lubbock provided shelter and offered assistance to 8,495 individuals and families. And this year the need is even greater, especially in the Angel Tree Program. "The economic downturn has finally hit Lubbock. We took more applications. We took 1,752 families. Last year we only did 982. Those 1,752 families represent 3,627 children," said Morton.
Although several generous donors have made contributions toward The Salvation Army to help cover the $16,000 pulled from other programs in order to provide gift cards for 800 children, The Salvation Army is looking to the Lubbock community for support to help replace these funds.
Each year, The Salvation Army provides additional gifts for the children in the Angel Tree program. This year The Salvation Army spent $17,000 for toys in advance and $16,000 for last minute gift cards totaling $33,000.
Contributions can be made to The Salvation Army by:
The Salvation Army needs community support to help replace the kettle money that is used to buy these toys. Also, The Salvation Army is still picking up the pieces after burglars broke into their thrift store in Lubbock and tried to steal money out of a safe.
The Lubbock Police Department says that when the clerk got to work December 17th, she found the entire front door glass broken. Police say that one small safe had been stolen, but there was no money in it.
The office was broken into and a larger safe was severely damaged, but the $1,500 inside the safe was not taken.
Damage estimates range between $3,000 and $5,000. It is not clear what time of night this happened because employees didn't make the discovery until Friday morning.
If you saw anything that might help police with their investigation, you are urged to call Crime Line at 806-741-1000.
More than 35 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.
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