FLORENCE, Ala. — The Salvation Army Angel Tree kick-off event normally takes place at the Florence Mall. 2019’s event had multiple speakers, a school choir, and members of the public lining up to adopt angels.
This year, the event is smaller, closed to the public, and the tree is set up in the fellowship hall of the Salvation Army location on Huntsville Road.
Charlotte Goodman serves as the center’s social worker and said there may be fewer eyes on the tree this year, but because of the pandemic, the need has increased.
“Of course, with COVID hitting, the unemployment rate being up, families are just having a hard time,” Goodman said. “We are seeing an uprise of people that are kind of just going everywhere trying to get some assistance for Christmas.”
Florence Mayor Andy Betterton picked the first angel off the tree. District 4 City Council Member Michelle Eubanks said it’s an example the city would like to see citizens follow.
“The mayor set the tone,” Eubanks said. “I’ve adopted an angel, two of my council people who are here have adopted an angel, and so it’s one of those things that if we as a community come together and do this, if we make sure the angels are adopted, then even if for just that one day, we changed a life, we put a smile on somebody’s face, and we’ve allowed them to have the kind of Christmas that everybody deserves.”
Because the angels aren’t in the mall, donors can go to the Salvation Army office on Huntsville Road in Florence or they can purchase gifts online by clicking here.