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News 6 viewers donate $211,478 to fund Christmas presents for children, seniors

Donations go to Salvation Army Angel Tree program

ORLANDO, Fla. – Every year, the Central Florida community shows its support for the Salvation Army Angel Tree program to help families in need of holiday cheer and this year was no different -- even in 2020, a year that has challenged everyone.

The annual program started last month with the goal of adopting 5,000 angels, including 4,000 children from infants to 14 year olds, in Orange and Osceola counties. The other 1,000 angels are seniors who might not have a Christmas if it were not for donations.

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On Giving Tuesday, News 6 held a day-long phone bank with the goal of raising $50,000 to go toward gifts for the 5,000 Angels.

By 8 p.m., News 6 viewers had donated $187,000, and after adding in online donations, the number increased to $211,478.

This year, the Salvation Army was offered a matching donation by a generous donor. If Central Florida could raise $50,000, the donor would contribute $50,000.

In the weeks leading up to Angel Tree distribution day, when more than 400 volunteers distribute gifts to seniors and families, News 6 is highlighting stories from community members who benefit from the program.

Angel Tree supports families like this Orlando couple raising an 8-year-old and two foster children suffering financial hardships due to the pandemic.

There is still time to help.

This year there are more ways to help than ever. You can adopt your Angel virtually or in person at participating locations. To see a full list of locations, click here and to adopt an Angel click here.