ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 is was once again kicking off the Angel Tree program, which helps donors in our community give back to children who are hoping to have a merry Christmas.
"The Salvation Army is 154 years old. We've been doing this most of our organization's life," Capt. Ken Chapman, of the Salvation Army, said about their mission to give every child a special Christmas and make sure no child is left without a gift.
Countless volunteers come together to help families struggling to make ends meet.
"There have been tens of thousands served here, especially in the Orlando area. We have 3,500 kids that we're taking care of this year and it's all done through the generosity of this community," Chapman said.
Since 1975, the Angel Tree event has provided gifts to children whose families have hit hard times throughout the U.S. and Canada.
"The average age of homelessness in America is 9 years old and our shelter with women and children, we average about 30 kids a night that are homeless. There's people who are homeless, people who are on the verge of being homeless who are struggling with financial issues or education issues," Chapman said.
The community can help by getting an angel tag at different locations.
"We have a beautiful tree at the Channel 6 station and we have the one here at Mall at Millenia where they can come select which angel they want, whatever age or gender that they want," Chapman said.
Each tag has a child's wish list.
"On the back of the angel tag, it tells you what the perfect angel gift is. Usually, if you can buy an outfit for them to wear and a toy or two and a book, or something educational, that's a perfect way to fill an angel gift," Chapman said.
News 6 will be live at the Mall at Millenia at noon for the official kick off noon Friday and then starting at 4 p.m. You can adopt an angel by going to the News 6 station or the Mall at Millenia. You can also go online at salvationarmyorlando.org.
Gifts must be turned in by Dec. 8.