Angel Tree makes it a Merry Christmas for hundreds of Oklahoma families

OKLAHOMA CITY – Every year, the Salvation Army helps Oklahoma families provide Christmas presents for children who may otherwise go without this holiday.

Thursday, those gifts were distributed to families across the metro.

The hustle and bustle of the holidays was in full swing at Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, which was formerly known as Crossroads Mall.

Boxes full of Christmas gifts filled the room, all for families in need.

Tiana Sanders said, “I had to have back surgery, so I’ve been off work for a while and money was a little funny.”

Families gathered to pick up gifts as part of the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.

Capt. Carlyle Gargis, with the Central Oklahoma Salvation Army, said, “There’s tears. There’s hugs. We’re really ministering to the whole person, sharing God’s love, not only in word but in deed.”

As parents waited, volunteers like Teresa Hobbs and Amy Johnson ran from one area to another, collecting gifts and even spreading a little Christmas cheer through songs.

Hobbs said, “Whether they’re laughing at you or laughing with you, I’m still making people smile.”

Tiana’s son is getting a bike, a gift she knows he will love.

She said, “The first thing he’s going to do, even if there is snow on the ground, is ask if he can ride it.”

As volunteers helped her to the car they stopped, picking up boxes filled with hygiene items and food.

Those boxes were a gift from Oklahoma-based Feed the Children.

Whether they were volunteers or families in need, everyone left with a little extra joy in their heart.

Johnson said, “It’s something I never got a chance to do and it makes me feel good.”

A joy the Salvation Army says anyone who helped this year can share.

Capt. Gargis said, “That’s a great sign of the character of a community in how they take care of those most needy and I really believe today is a sign of Oklahoma City at it’s finest.”

Due to the generosity of so many Oklahomans, the Salvation Army was able to help 1,750 families in central Oklahoma this year.