Salvation Army To Distribute Gifts Soon

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Knoxville (WVLT) - You likely walked past many Angel Trees while Christmas shopping, maybe even grabbing one or two.

WVLT Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud shows you the gratitude of some East Tennesseans receiving gifts from an angel tree you didn't see.

As busy as these 50 plus volunteers are you would think the giving had just begun.

But the gathering for the Salvation Army angel tree actually began months ago.

"We try to make a nice Christmas for everyone that comes through the program," says Major Don Vick from the Salvation Army.

About a thousand families to be exact, and that's in Knoxville alone.

The gifts being bagged don't come from the angels you see hanging from trees, that's a different Angle Tree campaign.

Each toy here is donated by a collaboration of churches and businesses, as well as some of the money collected from those renowned red kettles.

A lot of volunteer hours, that all culminates to this, rows of boxes

Stuffed with $300,000 worth of toys and goodies, bikes as far as the eye can see.

And buggies full of food fit for a holiday feast.

"Many of them will say this is the Christmas my child will get this year," Vick says.

Generosity that leaves a good feeling in the hearts of volunteers.

"It feels good to help needy families and children who aren't going to have Christmas unless we are doing this today," says volunteer Shannon Ochiltree.

And big smiles stretched across the faces of those that need a helping hand.

"It's helping me out a lot. They know it's not from mama but they don't care as long as they get a little something they are happy," says Angel Tree Participant Buffy Kittrell.

The Salvation Army Angel Tree is in it's 107th year.

Over the next couple of days they will distribute gifts to pre-selected families in Anderson and Blount counties.