UPDATE: Gifts Distributed to Angel Tree Families

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UPDATE 12/20/2013 12:00 PM

Many people around the Valley turned out to make the Salvation Army's Angel Tree drive a success.

WTAP is happy to partner with the Salvation Army to help make Christmas merry for many families and their children.

Friday the Salvation Army made a delivery to those angels.

There was a lot of traffic - vehicular and otherwise - at the Salvation Army headquarters on Fifth Street all morning.

And it's people who lined up before dawn to pick up their Angel Tree gifts for their family.

Inside were toys and gifts that were requested and which people from throughout our area donated by sponsoring youngsters through the Angel Tree program that wrapped up late last week.

This has been an orderly process.

Recipients were assigned numbers for their gifts - numbers they gave to the Army officials when they came to pick up their holiday packages.

12/19/2013 11 PM

They've made it this far, but the Salvation Army still needs your help to make sure local kids have a merry Christmas.

"We're filling lots of bags right now for children that we registered for Christmas and we are now running low for a lot of toys,” says Lt. Mechelle Henry.

It feels like you can't give enough.

“That you want to reach out to more -- there's a lot of families that still are too humble to come and say that 'I need help,'” says volunteer Teresa Meyer.

So many are dealing with hardship.

“It’s sad to see like how many people in Parkersburg and this area like, ya know, don't have enough to provide for, ya know, their kids come Christmastime,” says volunteer Seth Noorbakhsh.

They need toys from ages infant zero to 12.

"You can drive down the side of our building right here where we can receive those toys. We're looking for infant toys; we're looking for legos, nerf guns, Barbie dolls and baby dolls,” Henry says.

Get in the spirit of the season.

“It gives you an opportunity to feel the magic of Christmas, the true meaning of Christmas -- to give to others, unselfishly,” Meyer says.

They don't want to leave anyone out.

“We still have about a little over a hundred kids that we are trying to fill their bags right now," Henry says. "That doesn't mean that the public didn't help us. We appreciate so many people who pulled an angel off the tree and bought for that child, but right now we have a lot of tags that came back to us and we are trying to fill as many as we can before distribution.”

Everyone is doing their part.

“I think it's great that the Salvation Army, with the help of the community can kind of rally the troops together and give back,” Noorbakhsh says.

If you'd like to make a donation, drop off it off around the side of 534 Fifth Street.

UPDATE 12/18/2013 5:05 PM

They're in the home stretch.

But now the Salvation Army needs one last push so kids can have a merry Christmas.

Lt. Mechelle Henry says they're filling lots of bags for children who they registered for the Angel Tree program but are really running low on toys.

They need more for infants, as well as Legos, Nerf guns, Barbie dolls and baby dolls.

"We still have about a little over a hundred kids that we are trying to fill their bags right now. That doesn't mean that the public didn't help us," she says. "We appreciate so many people who pulled an angel off the tree and bought for that child, but right now we have a lot of tags that came back to us and we are trying to fill as many as we can before distribution at the end of this week."

Henry says they're asking the public to drop off toys at 534 Fifth Street.

Just drive down the side of the building where the Salvation Army can receive the toys.

They need from infant to age 12.

Update: 12/13/2013 7:30 PM

For the past month, the Parkersburg Salvation Army has been encouraging residents to sign up to sponsor a child for its Angel Tree campaign. But that also included donations of new, unwrapped toys.

Friday, the area responded with tremendous generosity.

"It's definitely doubled what we did last year, especially in partnership with WTAP; we couldn't have done it without them," says Lt. Mechelle Henry, Commanding Officer. "So many people are learning about the Angel Tree program. They want to pick an angel off the tree, and want a shot for these children we are helping. It really has made a difference."

In a day-long final push for the Angel Tree drive at the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority building, they also made donations both to Angel Tree, and the kettle campaign.

Last year, the Salvation Army was able to provide gifts to more than 4,000 youngsters in six area counties. While organizations and businesses provide donations, the support of individuals is also important.

Says Henry: "It's now Barbie (dolls) that are a must. A lot of little girls are into Barbies. Our boys are into Nerf (balls) and Legos. We appreciate all of those donations."

For those who haven't been able to donate yet, the Salvation Army will be accepting donations Saturday at its headquarters at 534 5th Street in Parkersburg.


UPDATE 12/5/2013 4:15 PM

You may think the holiday season has just begun, but time is running out to buy a gift for a youngster who really needs it.

The Angel Tree campaign is nearly a month old and it still is looking for specific toy donations.

The kettle campaign will continue until just before Christmas, but the Angel Tree drive will wrap up in the middle of this month.

And in particular, it needs donations of toys for boys.

"It seems like our little girls get picked off the trees, but our little boys are the ones we really struggle to find toys for," says Salvation Army Lt. Mechelle Henry. "All of our young people ages 0 to 2 do pretty well in getting toys, but we need toys for people ages 4 to 12."

Our next Angel Tree donation drive is Friday, December 6 from 4-7 p.m. at Woodcraft on Emerson Avenue with our Danielle Staub and James Sparvero.

You don't have to get an Angel Tree card to donate a toy.

Any new, unwrapped toy can be donated at the Salvation Army on Fifth Street.

Supporting the Salvation Army.

Dress shop Elizabeth Michaels Fashions in Vienna is an Angel Tree and toy drive sponsor.

Customers can come and and pick up an angel ornament, which has a child's name, age and wish list for Christmas on it.

More than 30 locations are hosting trees this year, where you can drop off your angel gifts or at the Salvation Army.

Several, including Elizabeth Michaels, feature a general toy drive as well.

Owner Kristina Snider says she wanted to find a local charitable cause to be involved with, making this the perfect match.

"By having the Angel Tree and the donation bucket here we can invite previous customers that we've known to come in and donate toys and then we also get to meet a lot of new people, who may become future customers, so we thought that it would be a great way for us to give back and be more involved in community," says Snider.

Snider says it's been a positive response with many people coming in to contribute.

The toy drive runs until December 23rd.

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