(Memphis) Five-thousand children who might have had no presents under the tree will wake up to a Christmas surprise, thanks to thousands of generous elves in Memphis.
The Salvation Army is celebrating this year’s Angel Tree drive as a success after filling up an entire warehouse.
Memphis is considered one of the most giving cities in the nation by financial magazines, so it makes sense people in Memphis would deliver especially well during the season of giving.
“It just shocks me to see this every year. It’s overwhelming,” said Area Commander for the Salvation Army Captain Jonathan Rich.
Gifts range from toys, to bicycles, and even clothing.
This is the 27th year the Salvation Army has passed out angels with Christmas wishes from Memphis children in need.
Captain Rich says when the program started it collected around 600 gifts, but as the need grows, so does the generosity.
“It’s more blessed to give than to receive and in many ways giving is what the Christmas season is all about and what Memphis and the Mid-South is known for,” said Rich.
The Salvation Army unveiled the massive collection of gifts in a ceremony Wednesday.
It also passed out Angel Awards to people and groups have helped make Angel Tree possible.
More than 1,600 people volunteered as part of the program.
Jeanette Cooley volunteers in memory of her friend who passed away. She passed out angels at Oak Court Mall, and the sight of the toys make all the hours invested worth it to her.
She wants to see just one thing.
“I’ve worked over at the Army when people are coming in to ask for what they want and it’s really rewarding to be able to know these people are being helped,” said Cooley.
Parents who have signed up will start picking up these toys Saturday morning.
That pick up will last all day ensuring thousands of smiles in Christmas morning.
Families who sign up as an Angel Tree recipient are screened and must meet a certain income standard before they are considered for a gift.