The Angel Tree program is a mission of The Salvation Army USA. The program is administered through the organization's local service centers, so sign-up procedures vary by area. To get details specific to your area, you'll need to identify your local office and follow their procedures.
Applying for Angel Tree Assistance
Local Salvation Army service centers accept applications for the Angel Tree program each year during the fall, typically from early September through mid-October. You will need to schedule an in-person appointment at the appropriate local office in order to register your child (or children) for the program. The exact time frame and process vary, so you'll need to do a little legwork to find out exactly where, when, and how to submit your child's name for consideration.
- Find local offices - To identify your local Salvation Army office, go to SalvationArmyUSA.org. Scroll down the page to the "See What's Happening at Your Local Salvation Army" office and enter your ZIP code in the search box, then click the button beside that box.
- Review results - You will receive a list of results with the name, address, website and contact information for the service centers closest to your area. Skim the list, focusing on "services offered" to narrow down to the best ones to contact with your inquiry. If you see one that has 'seasonal services' on your list, start there. Otherwise, opt for the location that seems to offer the broadest variety of services.
- Explore service center offerings - Review the selected local organization's website to see if details are available for the current year's Angel Tree program. If not, visit or call the service center and ask if their location administers the Angel Tree program. If not, ask for information about which service centers in the area do have the program so you can reach out to them directly.
- Verify procedures - After finding a location in your area that has the program, verify how their sign-up procedures work as well as the time frame during which applications are accepted. It is also important to find out the eligibility requirements, including what type of documentation you will need to submit. You may be able to find this information on the local group's website, or you may need to ask via a phone call or visit.
- Apply as required - Once you know the procedures, you will need to follow them exactly. You should generally expect to schedule a required, in-person appointment, during which you will need to provide documentation demonstrating financial need and proving your identity and parental status for the child (or children). You can see examples of specific requirements on the websites of the Huntsville, Alabama, and Wake County North Carolina locations. These are just examples, with exact requirements varying by location.
Other Options to Consider
The Angel Tree program provides a wonderful opportunity for children in families that are experiencing economic difficulties to receive Christmas gifts. There are also other charities that offer Christmas assistance and other ways to find free toys for the holidays that you may also want to explore. Please note: LoveToKnow isn't affiliated with Angel Tree programs and can't pass along requests.