The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree brightens holidays for thousands of folks in the Oklahoma City metro

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OKLAHOMA CITY - This week, thousands of folks in need are getting a special gift this Christmas thanks to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.

On Tuesday, a line of cars wrapped around the Plaza Mayor parking lot to drop off items for children, adults and seniors in need.

From wrapped gifts to food boxes, volunteers sorted through hundreds of items to make sure everyone has something under the tree on Christmas morning.

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program provides new clothing or toys for children of needy families through the support of donors.

In late November, trees are decorated with paper angel tags with the first name, age and gender of a child in need of presents.

People in the community can remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase gifts for the child or children described on the tags.

"It gives me a feeling of excitement and suspense, wondering what I got, what's in there and it's fun," said Ina Balch.

For the kids, toys and bikes were on many wish lists.

However, the senior Oklahomans needed some everyday necessities that are hard for some to buy.

"Postage stamps and bras," said Balch.

"I ordered a jacket and a blouse," said Rita Garcia.

With each gift handed out, those in need got a blessing.

"Let me pray, let me grab a hand," said Major Carlyle Gargis, with the Salvation Army Oklahoma Central Area Command. "I pray for this family that's represented here and that your goodness and your love wash over them this Christmas.”

The Salvation Army says this is a time for more than just gifts.

"We wanted to make sure we impacted people physically through gifts and food, but we also want to minister to the person," said Gargis.

With the help of generous Oklahomans, it's a community effort that is helping to restore hope for many.

"This is what Christmas is all about, it makes it joyful for people who otherwise might not have one," said Marty Howard, a volunteer.

"God bless you, bless you richly," said Balch.

"God be with them for all eternity." said Garcia.

The Salvation Army has about 150 angels that have not returned.

They need clothing and gifts for kids.

To help, visit the Salvation Army's website.

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