The Glenview Ice Center collected the largest donation of gifts ever this month during its annual Salvation Army Angel Tree gift drive. The ice center received more than 175 donated holiday gifts for underprivileged children this holiday season. It is the largest collection in the program’s nine-year history at the ice center.
The Angel Tree was located at the Glenview Ice Center lobby from December 1-21. Residents visiting the center could pick an Angel Tree Tag from the tree that detailed the gender, age, and holiday gift wish list for a child. They would purchase gifts on the list and return them unwrapped to the ice center.
Figure Skating Freestyle Coordinator & Angel Tree Coordinator for the Glenview Ice Center, Kathy Brickman said that the ice center staff was so excited by the Angel Tree Program’s response this year.
“Our team has been devoted to participating in the Angel Tree program for nine years now,” said Brickman. “Adopting children who are less fortunate and providing them with personalized gifts and necessities is an amazing opportunity, especially since they would otherwise receive very little or nothing during the holiday season.”
The Angel Tree program is one of The Salvation Army’s highest profile Christmas efforts, alongside the well-known Red Kettles that frequent store fronts.
Created in 1979 by Major Charles and Shirley White, the program was born while the two worked with a Lynchburg, Va. Shopping mall to provide clothing and toys for children at Christmas time.
Children wrote their gift needs on Hallmark greeting cards that featured pictures of angels, hence the name Angel Tree program. Charles and White then placed the cards on a Christmas tree at the mall to allow shoppers to select children to help.
The Angel Tree program is unique because it matches sponsors with specific children. The Salvation Army identifies families in need each year, and each sponsor purchases gifts for their specific children with information about their age and gender. Each child’s wish list is as diverse as the children themselves, and goes directly to the child named on the sponsor’s Angel.
Each child that had a tag on the tree will receive a gift, no matter what. Even in instances when not all the tags are taken, the Salvation Army will split up the donations, so that every child will have a present to unwrap on Christmas morning.