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Be an angel to kids in need

Many folks may be putting up a Christmas tree this weekend, but the Salvation Army has already set up a dozen trees.

The Salvation Army needs the community to put the presents under those trees.

James O’Neil, owner of Perkins in Idaho Falls, said he set up their Salvation Army Angel Tree a week earlier this year due to the overwhelming questions from guests.

“How many charities do you have your guests and givers calling you weeks before it starts?” said James O’Neil, owner of the Perkins in Idaho Falls.

Donors pick an angel off the tree. The tag lists the child’s age, gender and sizes. It also lists two things the child needs and two things they want.

Crystal Moore, office manager at the Salvation Army in Idaho Falls, says most participants need coats and boots. Many of the kids want toy cars, trucks, dolls and even bikes.

“I’d say [spend] about $25 to $30. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I think the one thing we want people to know is that some of the kids they buy for are not going to receive anything, so just something they can receive on Christmas day to open up, that’s really what is about,” said James Halverson of the Salvation Army.

Presents should be unwrapped and dropped off at any of the tree locations by Dec. 6.

“Even though we have daily pick up of gifts, there are times that you can’t hardly walk through this lobby because of the overwhelming pile of gifts that are in here,” said O’Neil.

This year more than 1,000 children have an angel tag. Both the giver and the recipients of the gifts are completely anonymous.Gifts will fill seven rooms and a gym at the downtown Salvation Army office. Then all those gifts will be distributed to parents.

“What gets me is sometimes when the parents come in and they see what they have received for their kids, they are really touched and the tears come to their eyes,” said Halverson.

Angel tags are available at 12 locations throughout Idaho Falls.

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