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updated: 10/7/2013 12:59 PM

Salvation Army collecting gifts now for Angel Tree

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Submitted by The Salvation Army

The holidays will soon be here and October is when many companies, schools and churches make plans for what they can do to brighten the holidays for those less fortunate.

Christmas can be a magical time, especially for children. Unfortunately, many children in the Chicago area won't even have a Christmas tree, much less presents to open. This is why The Salvation Army depends on the generosity of others to help provide a happy Christmas for thousands of families throughout Chicago.

The annual Angel Tree Program provides toys, clothing, special-needs gifts or other wish list items to families experiencing financial hardship. The Salvation Army identifies families in need through its corps community centers and social service agencies and provides these families gifts for their children and a food basket during the holiday season.

Donations to the program are accepted from Oct. 1 through mid-December and the gifts are distributed to families just in time for Christmas.

"This year, thousands of children in the Chicago area won't receive a single gift for Christmas without the help of generous businesses and individuals in the metropolitan area," said Lt. Colonel Ralph Bukiewicz, divisional commander of The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division. "Last year, The Salvation Army was able to provide more than 100,000 toys and gifts during the holiday season, and we hope to help even more children and teens across Chicago this year."

Local corporations, businesses and other organizations interested in participating in The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program will receive as many Angel Tree tags as they like. Each toy represents the age, gender and wish of a child. These tags can be displayed on a Christmas tree, posted on a bulletin board, displayed in any visible location or simply distributed to employees interested in participating. The Salvation Army will pick up the unwrapped gifts from each participating company or organization and deliver them to families in need.

Interested organizations can contact The Salvation Army at or (773) 205-3257 to register.

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