Angel Tree program expands after News 6 viewers help raise $211,478

Volunteers needed for Dec. 16 distribution day

Shelves on the wall are filled with toys and Christmas stockings are looking good as the Salvation Army Joy Center gets ready for its Angel Tree distribution day, which is just two weeks away.
Shelves on the wall are filled with toys and Christmas stockings are looking good as the Salvation Army Joy Center gets ready for its Angel Tree distribution day, which is just two weeks away.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Shelves on the wall are filled with toys and Christmas stockings are looking good as the Salvation Army Joy Center gets ready for its Angel Tree distribution day, which is just two weeks away.

On Wednesday, volunteers with the Salvation Army worked hard to get results for kids and seniors in need.

On Giving Tuesday, News 6 viewers helped raise more than $187,000 during a day-long phone bank for the Angel Tree program. After online donations were added on Thursday, the total increased to $211,478.

Captain Ken Chapman said he couldn’t be more grateful for the incredible generosity.

“I want to say to the viewers, thank you, because you’re making a difference for people who struggle in this community and because of your heart Orlando is going to have a merry Christmas,” Chapman said.

Chapman said the funds raised Tuesday will be used to help out even more families struggling to put gifts under the Christmas tree, including children who are not registered in the Angel Tree program.

“We are going to go shopping for the needs that aren’t met and there’s always children that fall between the cracks. We got a call yesterday, saying foster kids weren’t taken care of. We are going to bring them into the fold,” Chapman said.

While there’s still a lot of work to do before distribution day on December 16, volunteers, like Gary Lentch, are excited to be part of the journey.

“Every Christmas, I tried to come down here to do as many hours as I can. I try to juggle between work and be a part of it. You feel good inside,” Lentch said.

Chapman said the Salvation Army is in need of more volunteers to help at the Joy Center. If interested, you can reach out to the Salvation Army Orlando for more information at https://salvationarmyflorida.org/orlando/.


About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!