By Skylar Thornton
The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program is a Samford tradition that has been hosted by the Samford Student Government Association for over 20 years. Students, faculty, employees and Samford athletic teams take part in the tradition every year. Salvation Army Angel trees are placed inside the University Center and inside of the College of Health Sciences on campus with paper tags. The paper tags represent a child who is underprivileged and lists their wants and needs. A volunteer will find a tag and “adopt” the child. Volunteers who take part fulfill the wants and needs of the child whose tag they selected for the Christmas holiday. The volunteer will purchase gifts and clothes for the child based on the tag’s details. After purchasing these gifts for the child, volunteers are asked to bring in the gifts to a drop-off location on campus.
Members of Samford SGA are helping to package and bag the materials with wrapping paper. Once each child’s gifts are packaged, the Salvation Army will stop by to pick up the gifts and distribute them to the parents of the children.
This year, those who “adopted” a child from the various Angel Trees on campus dropped off their purchased gifts on Thursday, Dec. 2. Student Madison Tarifa said she was very excited to drop off the gifts she purchased and spoke on the ability to supply children in need with their Christmas wishes and fulfill their needs as well. Tarifa’s tag showed that the child wanted a toy for Christmas and that he also needed clothes. The clothes Tarifa bought included a Spider-Man T-shirt, undergarments and a warm jacket. Tarifa said that “helping those in need, especially through Samford and our community,” is a great way to spread Christmas joy.
Junior Callie Morrison was also at the drop-off location. Morrison is the director of SGA’s Freshman Forum. Members of Freshman Forum were encouraged to volunteer with the Salvation Army Angel Tree program this year. Morrison has been volunteering with the Salvation Army since she was 12 years old and was very enthusiastic to work with the Salvation Army again. Morrison said she appreciates that “the parents are able to pick up the gifts and wrap them themselves.” In doing so, this allows for a more personal touch.
Amy Simpson, who is the Director of Student Leadership and Involvement, discussed the importance and impact the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program has on these families.
The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program is a yearly tradition. Those who would like to volunteer or donate are encouraged to reach out to https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/.