Who Angel Tree Serves
The Salvation Army Angel Tree gives individuals and partnering corporations an opportunity to adopt less fortunate children across Hampton Roads.
About Angel Tree
Along with the familiar Red Kettles, the Angel Tree program is one of The Salvation Army’s highest-profile Christmas efforts. Angel Tree was created by The Salvation Army in 1979 by Lt. Colonels Charles and Shirley White when they worked with a Lynchburg, Virginia shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmas time.
The program got its name because the Whites identified local children’s wishes by writing their gift needs on Hallmark greeting cards that featured angels’ pictures. They placed the cards on a Christmas tree at the mall to allow shoppers to select children to help. Thanks to Lt. Cols. White, who was assigned by The Salvation Army to the Lynchburg area, had more than 700 children had a brighter Christmas that first year.
Three years later, after being transferred to Nashville, Tennessee, the Whites launched the Angel tree program in Music City. WSM radio, which airs the Grand Ol’ Opry, came on board that year as the first Angel Tree co-sponsor in the U.S.
Because of the on-air promotion on WSM in Nashville and national publicity on CNN and the Larry King Show, news of Angel Tree spread across the country like wildfire.