Salvation Army begins accepting applicants for Angel Tree program

San Antonio-area residents line up for assistance

SAN ANTONIO - The Salvation Army is already planning for Christmas. On Monday morning, they began accepting applications for their annual Angel Tree program.

Lines formed outside the Salvation Army hours before the doors opened. Dozens of families lined up hoping for some help this Holiday season.

"I get a disability check and it's hard. The toys are expensive," said Clara Rodriguez, a grandmother of six.

"Right now, I'm not employed, so it's tough," said Bridget Pyle, a mother of four. "It's getting harder and harder but this gives you hope to get through."

Last year, the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program helped grant holiday wishes for more than 6,000 children. They expect even more this year.

Families are chosen based need and screened by showing proof of income and expenses.

"It warms my heart to be able to assist people who I know normally would not be able to provide for their families at Christmas," said Capt. Tracey Czajkowski, Salvation Army area commander

Every child accepted into the program will be assigned a paper angel ornament. It will include their age, whether they're a girl or boy, their wish for a toy and their clothing sizes.

The angels will be hung on Christmas trees at area malls, where anyone can adopt them and make the wishes come true.

After completing the application process, Pyle found out her children will qualify.

"My daughter keeps saying, 'I can't wait 'til Santa comes,'" she said. "It's upsetting to know that you can't provide but now I can and now the stress is gone."

Applications are being accepted through Saturday, Oct. 13.

In order to apply for the program, applicants must show a photo ID, social security cards for everyone who lives in the household, including proof of income and expenses and the children's birth certificates. 

The gifts are for children 1 month to 11 years old.

For more information, call 210-352-2000.


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