The Salvation Army Angel Trees are a way to give kids a Christmas they might not otherwise have. However, this year the need is even greater, with hundreds of more children qualifying.
“These are the children that are at the very bottom of the socioeconomic scale. These are the children that might very well have little to nothing at Christmas time,” said Major Rob Webb of The Salvation Army of San Antonio.
Webb is talking about the 8,000 San Antonio area children hoping to get some new clothes and other items this Christmas. 2017 will be a record number of children in need, up by about 500 kids.
“I think several things come into play this year, one is, there's probably a few extra families that have settled into the area as a result of hurricane Harvey,” said Webb.
The Salvation Army thinks more awareness of the Angel Tree program with local schools has also sparked the increase in need. Either way, they know this year is going to be a challenge.
“We are very concerned about donor fatigue this year because we saw in the San Antonio community, everyone really rallied to the support of the need of hurricane Harvey. So, we’re concerned that maybe they think they’ve already done their giving this year,” said Webb.
“Well, I pretty much live paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s pretty tough,” said Robyn Cole.
Cole is currently staying at the Salvation Army shelter with her four children. Her husband is unemployed and she said she has to pick up extra shifts, just to try and make ends meet.
“I kind of always get stressed out this time of the year because I want to give them a perfect Christmas like I’ve always had,” said Cole.
And that’s why for the very first time ever, Cole has signed up for the Angel Tree program, hoping someone can help make Christmas special for her children.
“I just hope that my kids wake up with smiling faces, that’s all I want to see really,” said Cole.
The Angel Tree program runs through December 9. You can visit an Angel Tree at North Star Mall, South Park Mall, Ingram Park Mall and Rolling Oaks mall seven days a week. The Shops at La Cantera will have an Angel Tree on the weekends. The Angel Trees also help seniors in need. You can also make a donation using your credit or debit card.