HAND IT ON: Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program collects Christmas gifts for kids

HAND IT ON: Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program collects Christmas gifts for kids
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - There’s just over one week left for the annual Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program to collect Christmas gifts for kids. And as of Wednesday, Dec. 5, there are still about 900 angels that need adopting!

Major Don Tekautz, the commanding officer for the Salvation Army of Greater Baton Rouge, explains this program is a very important Christmas tradition in Baton Rouge.

“Well, it just means that kids who come from kind of disadvantaged families really do get to have Christmas,” Tekautz said. “And Angel Tree supplies for them some joy and the happiness that Christmas brings, relieves the stress from families that at Christmas time, when you don’t have the ability and the means to provide for your family like you would want to, like a mom or a dad would want for their children, so it provides for them a Christmas meal, toys for their children, makes Christmas a happy day.”

Major Don Tekautz with the Salvation Army
Major Don Tekautz with the Salvation Army (Source: WAFB)

All toys must be brought to the Salvation Army’s headquarters on Airline Highway at Winbourne by Thursday, December 13.

“The gifts will then go to our temporary distribution facility, the old Holmes Building Materials Store on Greenwell Springs Road, where they will be put in one of 1,200 boxes that will then be distributed on the 14th and 15th to families for Christmas," Tekautz said.

It’s easy to contribute. Just pick an angel from the Angel Tree at the Mall of Louisiana and shop for that child.

“Their Christmas wish list, and needs, are on the form,” Tekautz explained.

Then bring the unwrapped gifts back to the Christmas tree area in the mall in the enclosed sack.

“Or you can take an angel tag, shop anywhere in the city, and bring the toys in the sack to the Salvation Army headquarters building on Airline,” said Tekautz.

It’s as easy as that. In fact, some families have made Angel Tree shopping an annual holiday tradition in their families. This gets the kids involved and instills the true meaning of Christmas: giving and helping others.

Our Hand It On team caught up with Major Tekautz at the Holmes warehouse and surprised him with our $300 Hand It On cash gift!

“Well as you know, we support the Angel Tree Project every single year,” I told Tekautz. “We’d be remiss if we didn’t give you our $300 Hand It On money to buy some toys!” I said as I handed him three crisp, new $100 bills!

“Thank you so much,” the major exclaimed with a huge smile! “Thank you and WAFB for always being a great supporter. We appreciate this a lot. It will make a difference in somebody’s life this Christmas!”

Remember, the deadline for dropping off toys is Thursday, Dec. 13.

Merry Christmas from the Salvation Army and WAFB!

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