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Angel Tree Program Reaches Hundreds of Families - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Angel Tree Program Reaches Hundreds of Families

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Almost 700 families have presents under their Christmas trees thanks to the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army set up shop Thursday night in the former Giant store on Seminole Court in Charlottesville. The space was used as a pickup location for bags full of toys, bikes and more that had been donated through the Angel Tree program.

Scarlett Bryan says if not for the Salvation Army, her children would wake up Christmas morning without any gifts.

"What money I did have bought what we needed for Christmas dinner and bought what they needed for winter clothes and stuff," Bryan said.

The Angel Tree program starts out as just that: an angel on a tree.

"People pick those angels and go and purchase gifts for those angels and then bring them back to us and we put it all together for that family," said Major Melinda Johnson with the Salvation Army.

Hundreds of bikes and trash bags packed tight with toys covered the floor of the building. Parents say even though the angel ornaments have a wish list, many gifts are still a surprise.

"My children, they're very unique and very smart so I'm hoping they get what they wanted and if they don't my kids are very appreciative in what they do get," Bryan said.

Johnson says the program is meant to give families gifts their children want, while still leaving money in their pockets to pay for things the family needs.

"This helps them to spread their money a little further, and be able to stay in their homes and be able to pay their rent in January and stuff," Johnson said.

The Wahoo Stocking Program also helped contribute toys to the cause; 1,300 children will have toys Christmas morning thanks to that program.

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