Salvation Army begins Angel Tree effort

The Columbus Salvation Army is asking local residents to consider being an angel for a child during the Christmas season.

They can do that by picking up a tag from the Angel Tree program and returning with a toy for a child starting Monday.

Angel Tree tags are available beginning Friday at the FairOaks Mall, Centra Credit Union, Wood Forest Banks inside Walmart, Hamilton Ice Arena, Kroger, Rural King, Shoe Sensation, Vanity Fair Outlet, Vivian Lou, Total Fitness, White River Broadcasting and at the Salvation Army’s angel tree location at 1543 Cottage St.

The effort is planned to provide more than 400 local children with a Christmas gift. Each child gets two angels tags that allows them to fill out information for desired clothing and toy items.

“Many of the families that signed up for our program this year are new to asking for assistance and are struggling to make ends meet,” said Capt. Jodi Sladek. “Many have been very humble and thankful that we can help them.”

Sladek said she hopes the angel tree tag effort, which last year was able to help 426 children last year, can exceed that number this year.

Children receive a toy, clothing and a food basket as part of the program.

The food basket provides families with food for a Christmas dinner and meals after the Christmas holiday as well, Sladek said.

The Salvation Army asks that individuals not wrap gifts, but wrapping paper may be donated.

Deadline to drop off gifts is Dec. 12.