SAN ANTONIO – As the deadline to turn in gifts for its annual Angel Tree program looms, the Salvation Army says it still hasn't received gifts for roughly 1,000 children.
The Angel Tree program allows people to provide Christmas gifts for a needy child by “adopting” an angel from one of three locations around the city or through their workplace.
Each angel represents a child and their Christmas needs and wishes.
While the Salvation Army says it is on track to have all of the nearly 7,600 children "adopted" through the program, many of those angels have not been returned with the required gifts.
"I didn't sleep last night. I was worried about these wonderful children," said Maj. Carolynn Webb, the Salvation Army area commander.
Webb said there are always some angels that aren't returned, but there are more than usual this year.
"If you adopted a child, please return that angel with (those) gifts to us," Webb said.
The Salvation Army looks to provide each child with at least two gifts, and should an angel only be returned with one toy, employees and volunteers will add in another from a collection of donated and bought toys.
That collection is already running low for certain ages, however, and Webb said the organization would need to buy more toys to give the children whose angels aren't returned.
The deadline to adopt children at one of three Angel Tree locations at North Star, South Park or Ingram Park malls is Saturday.
But angels and gifts can be returned to those locations as late as Sunday, between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
The Salvation Army is also asking for new toy donations to help with any gift shortfall that may arise from people neglecting to turn in their angels.
It is especially looking for toys for ages 6-12, which can also be turned in at the Angel Tree locations.
Should anyone with an angel miss the Sunday deadline, Salvation Army employees and volunteers will accept the donations on Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the collection center set up at the San Antonio Event Center near Loop 410 and Marbach Road.