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story.lead_photo.caption The Sentinel-Record/Mara Kuhn ANGEL TREE: Lieutenant Stephanie Hargis with The Salvation Army of Hot Springs presents a tag from The Salvation Army's Angel Tree on Saturday at the Hot Springs Mall. Hargis says over 200 angels still await adoption.

More than 200 angels still await adoption from The Salvation Army's Angel Trees, Lieutenant Stephanie Hargis said Saturday.

The deadline to return gifts is Monday.

The Salvation Army began the giving season with 650 angels signed up for the program. After the official Angel Tree kick off on Nov. 18, about 400 angels remained on the trees. Hargis said only 50 of the angels have been returned with their Christmas wishes.

"The biggest thing is getting these angels off the tree and get them returned. We are just in a desperate place, " she said.

The Salvation Army Angel Tree provides gifts for children who would otherwise not receive presents on Christmas Day. Some of the children are homeless, some have a parent in prison, and others are just living in poverty, Hargis said.

"We try to ensure that each angel gets a new outfit, a pair of shoes, one large toy and a few smaller toys to open on Christmas morning.

"The average cost of adopting an angel can be anywhere between $75 and $100. It really just depends on where you choose to shop," she said.

Many people have made individual toy and monetary donations to the program that Hargis said will be set aside and used for any "forgotten angels" that are not adopted from the tree.

"This program is run by The Salvation Army, but we see to the community to help fill the needs of all of these kids. We depend on the generosity of the community to ensure these children get presents for Christmas," she said.

The Salvation Army has also purchased $1,000 worth of sports balls to help supplement any "forgotten angels." The toys collected from the annual A.B.A.T.E. Toy Drive will also help to fill in the gaps, Hargis said.

"We have gotten some amazing gifts that have already come back from people who have really just gone over and beyond for these kids. We are just very blessed," she said.

The Angel Tree also services the elderly, in addition to the children. Hargis said 34 senior citizens applied for the program this year.

"We have had a lot of people asking about the elderly but we did not have that many people sign up this year. Those who have signed up are already spoken for," she said.

Parents and guardians will be able to collect their children's gifts on Dec. 16 at Coco Beverage Inc., 100 Budweiser Lane, starting at 9 a.m.

Each family has been issued an appointment time, so the collection process is streamlined. The goal is to serve 25 families every 20 minutes.

In addition to The Salvation Army's Angel Tree, there are also 17 red kettles scattered throughout Garland County where volunteers collect donations which cover one-tenth of their annual budget.

Hargis said the fundraising goal for the kettles has been set at $120,000 this year.

Local on 12/05/2017

Print Headline: Over 200 'Angels' remain on trees

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