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Angel Trees initiative begins, creating the opportunity to make a child's Christmas dreams reality

The Salvation Army spent Friday setting up the Angel Trees at malls around town.

SAN ANTONIO — Help fulfill a child's wish list this holiday season by adopting from the Salvation Army's Angel Tree. 

Spokesperson Brad Mayhar says about 7,000 San Antonio children are enrolled in the program, which provides gifts for children who'd otherwise go without on Christmas morning.

"This isn't some name on a sheet of paper," Mayhar said. "These kids are right here in our community." 

Angel Tree adoptions began Friday and run through Dec. 11. Shoppers can tear a tag from trees posted in each of San Antonio's major malls, or help adopt a child online here. 

Wal-Marts will also host Angel Trees again this year, beginning Nov. 15. An online registry is available here for no-contact charitable shopping. 

Mayhar says pandemic-related struggles left more families in need this holiday season. In many cases, families appearing on the tree this year have not experienced this economic uncertainty before. 

"It could happen to anyone," Mayhar said. "Anyone could go through a year where there's a job loss or a health scare. Maybe folks are just down on their luck and they need a little bit of help." 

This year, volunteers will distribute the gifts over three days. The Salvation Army will again use a drive-thru method for distribution.

"Seeing their faces - sometimes you see tears of joy," Mayhar said. "They'll share their story and say, 'Wow, we didn't think this was going to be possible this year." 

San Antonio residents have provided that aid since 1979. The program began with just 700 children. 

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