Angel Trees help kids in need


Paper angels hang on Emma's Angel Tree on Wednesday at Flowers and Gifts of Rocky Mount.


Staff Writer

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sarah Harrell felt the Christmas spirit early this year.

Harrell, a flower designer at Flowers and Gifts in the Englewood Square shopping center, designed and put up the store’s first Christmas tree in early November. In addition to ribbons, bows and Christmas ornaments, she  decorated the Angel Tree with small angel tags representing local children of all ages in need of Christmas gifts this year.

The store’s customers can pull off an angel tag and bring it back with a new toy appropriate for the child on the tag. Harrell will deliver all the gifts to the Salvation Army by the Dec. 7 deadline.

“Our store has done this before several years ago and thought this was a good year to bring it back. I was worried with all the hurricane help the Salvation Army has been involved in, they might be stretched thin this year getting the gifts for the Angel kids. Misti Johnson, the store owner, and her 6-year-old daughter Emma thought it was a good idea, too.” Harrell said. “So we decided to put the tree up and do what we could.”

Harrell’s tree is part of the Salvation Army of Nash and Edgecombe Counties’ network of decorated Christmas trees throughout the Twin Counties connecting families in need with neighbors willing to help with children’s Christmas presents. The largest tree with the most angels to choose from is at Golden East Crossing mall near Santa’s Workshop and Belk’s department store.

Maj. Amber Phelps said the Salvation Army started taking applications for the Angel Tree program in October and has about 171 families they’re helping, which equals about 300 children in need of Christmas presents.

Phelps is optimistic the Salvation Army will get all the toys it needs to provide Christmas to the families they’ve committed to.

“We always worry, ‘Will we have enough?’ And we know there are many deserving causes this year with all the hurricane relief efforts going on in North Carolina,” she said. “But we’ve had great community support so far and hope it will help us meet our goal.”

Phelps said she’s had several businesses, civic groups and churches call and take on a whole family or up to a dozen children to buy for. All gifts must be new and in the original packaging.

“If you can’t take on buying all the gifts for one child, you can also drop off individual gifts to help us fill in, if there’s a child that didn’t get a full bag of gifts or a bag that didn’t materialize,” Phelps added.

Gifts should be turned in to Salvation Army by Dec. 7.




For info box?

How to give

• To buy for one child: Phelps suggests getting a tag off the biggest Angel Tree, located at Golden East Crossing near Belk’s.

• To buy for one family: Contact Amber Phelps at the Salvation Army, 446-4496, extension 206.

• If you’re a business, civic group or church and want several Angel tags to buy for as a group, contact Amber Phelps, at Salvation Army, 446-4496, extension 206.

• Donate a toy: Drop off at the Salvation Army office at 420 Paul Street.