Thousands receive gifts as part of Angel Tree program

5,000 children, 1,000 seniors adopted in program this year

ORLANDO, Fla. – Thousands of gifts were distributed Wednesday as part of the Angel Tree program, spreading holiday cheer to children and seniors around Central Florida.

News 6 and BFARR Contracting teamed up with The Salvation Army to provide gifts to 6,000 angels.

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This year, 5,000 angels represent a child ranging from infant to 14 years old in Orange and Osceola counties. The other 1,000 angels are seniors who might not have a Christmas if it were not for Angel Tree donations. The program gives Christmas gifts and essentials to children and seniors in need.

This year, families will pick up gifts in a drive-thru style event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

[PHOTOS: Angel Tree distribution day 2021]

“For the last month, the staff and officers have been working 18-hour days to get it all ready, but it’s all worth it because it takes hundreds of people, it takes the media and it takes the donors, all of us together,” said Capt. Ken Chapman, of The Salvation Army. “And when our community comes together like that and works hard to serve others, we’re a healthy community.”

Ahead of distribution day, more than $320,000 was raised on Giving Tuesday during a News 6 phone bank for the program.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.