RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — CBS 17 is sponsoring the Salvation Army of Wake County’s ‘Angel Tree’ program ahead of the holidays.
The organization set up the tree at Crabtree Valley Mall to give more than 6,500 Wake County children the chance at the Christmas of their dreams.
The tree is decorated with angels people can ‘adopt’ to buy presents for.
Organizers say each angel is a child who comes from an underprivileged family.
Megan Hetrick and her son stopped by the Angel Tree and to ‘adopt’ an angel.
For her, being able to help was personal.
“I came from a bad background and I understand where they’re from in needing the help,” Megan said. “I know there’s people that need to give back in order to get the same feeling that I had when I was a kid and all of the help, and it’s just important.”
This year’s Angel Tree program comes after a year of inflation and federal interest-rate hikes.
“There’s a lot of families who have just not been able to work this year for whatever reason, or because of inflation their bills have gone up, and you know, groceries have gone up,” Salvation Army of Wake County Lt. Alison Hamilton explained. “So their income looks a lot different than it did last year.”
Those families signed up for the program in October.
To qualify, they had to make less than a certain amount of money.
In case some angels aren’t picked, Lt. Hamilton says the Salvation Army has a plan for the ‘forgotten angels.’
The organization has a stash of gifts they can pull from to fill the need, supplied from their online registries and gifts from the community.
But they say it’s important the angels do get adopted, so everybody gets a Christmas.
“We just want to give back to what we have,” Hetrick said as she held her son. “I see his happiness and I want to make sure another child feels the same thing.”
She encourages other people to join them in spreading Christmas spirit to the angels.
“What comes around goes around, so what you give, you get back,” she said. “And it’s a great feeling especially around the holidays to do something like that.”
To adopt an angel, you can stop by the Angel Tree near the Lego Store on the first level of the mall through Dec. 16.
It’ll be there during mall hours every day except Sundays.
Once you pick your angel, the Salvation Army of Wake County says you can drop off the unwrapped gifts by the tree at Crabtree Valley Mall through Dec. 16, or you can bring them to the Salvation Army of Wake County’s warehouse through Dec. 19.