Angel Tree volunteers overwhelmed by outpouring of Shoals support

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Shoals has come together in a big way to make Christmas special for almost 2,000 children.

The Salvation Army of the Shoals has seen record responses this year with their Angel Tree program.

From the trees, to the tables, hundreds of Angel Tree donation bags sit ready to be distributed on Wednesday and Thursday at their center in Florence.

Each bag represents a child who could have gone without this Christmas.

“People have been more than generous, and it just really brings tears to my eyes almost,” said Susanne Wadsworth with the Women’s Auxiliary in the Shoals.

She said she can’t wait for the parents and caretakers of the children to start lining up to get the gifts.

“It’s wonderful to see them and to see the looks on their faces when they see how people have provided for their children,” explained Wadsworth.

There was some concern about the response after the Salvation Army was forced to change adoption locations, just weeks before they were to start. However, things turned out much better than anticipated.

“People have been very sympathetic towards us because we were not able to be where we used to be, but we had our Angels adopted way before the deadline,” Wadsworth said.

It’s a huge relief to the men and women who have spent countless hours getting the center ready for Christmas distribution.

Of the nearly 1,900 Angels and teens adopted this year, 40 angels were not returned.  However, toy and clothing donations helped fill those requests at the distribution center.