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Salvation Army serves record number of children through Angel Tree

The Salvation Army of Bryan-College Station is helping more than 1,000 families through their Angel Tree this year.

BRYAN, Texas — After months of organizing, shopping and collecting donations, the Salvation Army of Bryan-College Station is ready to give out their Angel Tree gifts to kids in the Brazos Valley. 

“I’m just excited to know the over 2,300 kids that we have will be able to have a Christmas morning," said Lt. Timothy Israel, the executive director of the Salvation Army of Bryan-College Station. 

Lt. Israel moved to the Brazos Valley with his family in June. This is his first year working with the Bryan-College community, who he said have rallied behind struggling families. 

“Bryan-College Station has a legacy of a community that gives and supports those in need," Israel said.

With more children than ever before signed up to receive Angel Tree gifts, the Salvation Army made a huge push asking for donations this year. Thankfully, every child has been adopted and will open gifts for Christmas. 

“It’s a great time to see that joy on the families faces as they receive the gifts and they know they’re going to be able to provide for their family," Israel said. "It’s something that maybe they didn’t know a few months ago how’d that be possible.” 

In the year 2020, when many people have been struck with some misfortune, volunteers around the Brazos Valley got involved because they want to do good. 

“It's much more stressful on a lot of families because of the possibility of jobs being lost because of COVID-19 shutdowns," said Jennifer Cotton, who has been volunteering at the Angel Tree distribution for six years.

The reason Cotton continues to volunteer and come back each year is so she can "give the best Christmas" to local kids. 

"It’s heartwarming, it’s heartwarming," Cotton said describing the feeling to volunteer.

She hopes to see the community continue coming together and help one another when possible. 

The Salvation Army said the success the Angel Tree sees each year would not possible without the dedicated volunteers and community members who donate. 

“This is a $600,000 operation that is completely provided for by the community," Israel said.

The Angel Tree distribution continues Thursday at the Post Oak Mall in the previous Beales building.