BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — As the holidays are approaching, many families may be feeling the weight of the past year, so the Salvation Army is extending the deadline to apply for their annual Angel Tree Program.
The initial deadline to apply for the program was Monday, October 11, but Morgan Dailey with the Salvation Army of Greater Baton Rouge says the demand this year was so high that they decided to extend the deadline to Friday, October 15, to open the opportunity for another 1,500 children. “We still have so many people from the Southern parishes in hotels and our evacuees from Ida and Baton Rouge, and with the long-lasting COVID shutdowns and the COVID furloughs, there’s a huge need this year as there was last year,” says Dailey.
The Angel Tree Program helps support hardworking parents who, around this time, have to choose between paying bills and buying Christmas presents. Parents can sign their child up to be adopted by the program, and then people donate toys and clothes based on provided lists. The parents then pick up the gifts the weekend before Christmas. “Nobody wants to have to tell their children, ‘no, you can’t have something,’ especially not at Christmas time or have to explain why there’s nothing under the Christmas tree. So it has helped a lot of people and I think it brought a lot of warmness to people’s hearts,” says Dailey.
Throughout the season, the biggest need is items for older children, 10-12 years old, and baby items. If you are unable to get out to shop for items, Dailey says that monetary donations help too, “we have a huge buying power as the salvation army, so through monetary donations, we’re able to take that money and sometimes quadruple what you may be able to buy in a big box store.”
For more information on the Angel Tree Program, visit the Salvation Army website here.