Across Indiana, Salvation Army Christmas assistance programs are in full swing collecting toys, assembling food baskets, and matching donors to children in need of a merrier Christmas. The Salvation Army is partnering with CBS4 to put together one of the state’s largest Angel Tree programs, which serves families in need in central Indiana. This October, more than 2,700 children were enrolled in the Angel Tree program. Since the Monday after Thanksgiving, shoppers at two metro Indy malls have had the opportunity to “adopt” these Angels and be a part of this very special program.

The process is simple. Shoppers at Castleton Square or Greenwood Park mall simply head over to the mall entrance for Macy’s to find an Angel Tree covered in unique Angel tags. Each tag contains information about a specific child: first name, age, gender, shoe and clothing sizes, specific needs, and dearest wishes. Donors then choose a child, like 4-year-old Damien, who loves finger paint and trucks but also needs new tennis shoes and warm gloves. Damien’s tag is taken from the tree and registered with the Salvation Army volunteers at a nearby table. The donor receives instructions and a big bag to fill with gifts, then is sent off on a shopping adventure for their Angel. The filled bags must all be returned by December 10 to either Angel Tree mall location or to The Salvation Army’s headquarters at 3100 N. Meridian Street.

After volunteers and Salvation Army staff spend a week of sorting and set-up at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, parents arrive on December 18 to collect their children’s gifts. Since the gifts are unwrapped, parents have the opportunity to wrap them and add special touches. Whether the gifts are from The Salvation Army, a child’s parents, or Santa Claus himself, the children know that they come wrapped in love.

You can be a part of this great program by adopting an Angel today at Greenwood Park Mall, Castleton Square Mall, or the special Angel Tree set up in the lobby of the Indiana History Center as part of the Festival of Trees. We welcome companies and groups to adopts multiple Angels. Shopping together is always a fun and bonding experience! Volunteers are also needed to help shoppers adopt Angels and drop off the filled gift bags. Visit our Volunteer page to learn how you can sign up to help.

If you have any questions about the Angel Tree program, please visit our Angel Tree page or reach out to Captain Chrissy Cooper at chrissy_cooper@usc.salvationarmy.org.