Every day, LCA employees work hard to deliver reliable, high-quality water services. Last week, they helped deliver something else: presents for 32 local children in need, through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.
The Angel Tree program provides new clothing or toys for children of needy families through the support of donors. The gifts are given to parents a few days before Christmas, so that the child believes they’re from his parents or Santa Claus — preserving the magic of the holiday.
The Angel Tree got its start in 1979, when two Salvation Army majors, Charles and Shirley White, came up with the idea to provide clothing and toys for children during the holiday season at a shopping mall in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The Whites had children write down their gift wishes and needs on greeting cards that featured pictures of angels. They then placed the cards on a Christmas tree at the mall. Shoppers could select a card and purchase the children’s wished-for items. That first year, more than 700 children had a brighter holiday thanks to the fledgling program.
When the Whites were transferred to Nashville, Tennessee, three years later, the Angel Tree followed. WSM radio, which airs the Grand Ol’ Opry, heard about the Angel Tree program and became the first Angel Tree co-sponsor. Thanks to the radio station and publicity from CNN and the Larry King Live show, the program became a national tradition.
LCA has long been a supporter of the Angel Tree. In a thank-you note after last year’s donation, Danilo Velez, director of social services for the Salvation Army’s Allentown Corps, said “Your giving certainly made a remarkable difference in [children’s] lives this holiday season. So far this year counting Christmas we will have assisted over 15,000 individuals who have come to us for assistance. This holiday season we assisted 1,208 families and gave 3,043 toys to children. Your kindness goes beyond just words and it is providing not just warmth, but hope.”
LCA’s employees couldn’t be happier to help. “I love giving to those less fortunate, especially children and especially during the holidays — no child should be without a Christmas present. It gives me a warm happy feeling that I am so blessed every day to be able to give to others,” says Jody R. from our accounting department.
“The reason I participate in the Angel Tree program is because there was a time in my life when my daughter and I were the ones in need,” says Customer Care representative Deanna D. “I know what it feels like not to know how or where the gifts for the children will come from. I was very lucky and now I truly believe in paying it forward. Being able to help others out at this special time of year means a lot, and like that saying goes, it is better to give than to receive.”
If you’d like to help The Salvation Army — either for the holidays, or at any time of the year — please call (610) 432-0129 or visit them online at LehighValley.SalvationArmyPA.org.