OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Salvation Army kicked off the Christmas season Tuesday morning at Quail Springs Mall by opening the famous angel tree and ringing the red kettle bell.

Though it may not necessarily look or even feel like Christmas at the moment, the Salvation Army definitely had it sounding like the holiday season Tuesday morning in northwest Oklahoma City.

Salvation Army kicks off Christmas season.
Salvation Army kicks off Christmas season. Image KFOR.

“Oklahomans are proud people and they come out in droves and they adopt those kids and make sure every child has a beautiful Christmas,” said area commander and captain in the Salvation Army Jamie Clay.

Over 2,000 children have been registered for “adoption” this year. About 150 of them alone sat on the tree inside the mall Tuesday. Each card on the tree had a name, clothing and shoe sizes as well as a wish and need list.

“They need a car seat as well so we’d be happy to provide that for them,” said a woman in the organization’s women’s auxiliary as she looked at one of the cards.

With inflation where it is, the organization started the adoption process back in September.

“We encouraged people that had financial needs to register at that time to get approved early, so that way we could help take some of that pressure off of them because inflation doesn’t help at Christmas,” Clay said.

Salvation Army kicks off Christmas season.
Salvation Army kicks off Christmas season. Image KFOR.

Regardless, Clay believes Oklahomans will make sure they all get adopted. Dating back to 1979 the angel tree has provided for numerous children and seniors each year. Since 1891, red kettle donations have followed suit. All of this, on the way to giving Christmas to thousands of children and those in need in Oklahoma and beyond.

“When we go outside of ourselves, we adopt an angel off of a tree and shop for that child it is very self-sacrificing,” Clay said.

The goal for donations in Oklahoma County is $350,000. They serve five different counties and all of the money raised in each individual county stays local to that county. You can find more on how you can help by clicking the link in this story.