Families in need register for Angel Tree Program - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Families in need register for Angel Tree Program

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) We're heading into the time of year when thoughts of holiday planning and spending start creeping in. For thousands in the Tennessee Valley, this time of year brings greater struggles.

Families in need are wanting to make sure their little ones are fed warm meals, have the proper clothing to combat the weather and get to experience Christmas.  Hundreds looking for help lined up at the Salvation Army Warehouse to sign up for the Angel Tree program, Tuesday. Families say the program, serving under privileged seniors and children is a blessing.

"Thank God for generous people out there like the Angel Tree for having this program, I don't know what I would do without out it," said new mom April Stoudemire.

"I always need extra clothes, I'm not able to you know do all of the clothes and stuff like that so I think that's the best part," said single mom Lakeisha Avery.

Families at or below the poverty line tell Channel 3 they depend on the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program each Christmas.

"I don't know what I would do, I really don't I mean there are other programs out there but not as good as this one," said mother of two, Stephanie Merritt.

Here's how it works, those who have children 12-years-old and younger or seniors above 60 years old qualify to be put on an Angel Tree Card.

"It's wonderful and it helps people and it also helps me a lot too," said grandmother Audra Faye Martin.

The angel card list Christmas items each family needs.  

"The list for the needs I always put down are coats , clothes and pajamas," said Avery.

The card also lists, items wanted beneath their tree.

"Food... you name it, I love it," said Martin.

Volunteers help make those wishes come true by placing the Angel Cards in area shopping centers.

"This is a way a child can get a direct benefit and know that someone out there outside of their parents really cares for them,' said Major Al Newsome, Area Commander Salvation Army.

Last year the Angel Tree program served more than 5,400 children and seniors in need.  This year that number is expected to grow.  Officials say they need volunteers who can speak Spanish.

"All of the volunteers that are out there that want to be a part of this we certainly can use them," said Newsome.

If you wish to register the Salvation Army will be taking applications at their Warehouse on 5001 Covington Street: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October 31st.

When you apply for Christmas Assistance you must bring with you:

- A picture I.D. For all adults in the household

- Birth Certificates for each child in the household

- Proof of income for all in household (including child support)

- Food stamps award letter ( if you receive this)

- Families First Awards Letter ( If you receive this)

- Proof of address, a lease or utility bill or 2 pieces of mail

- Proof of all monthly expenses

Officials say if you do not have a birth certificate, insurance card or shot records may work.

If you receive assistance from another agency or group, The Salvation Army will deny your application. Organizers ask that you do not bring children to the registration process. Call 423-756-1023 or visit csarmy.org for more information on how you can help.

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