Call for Salvation Army donations answered

Last week, they called for help after 215 angels weren’t returned

ROANOKE, Va. – A call to action was answered many times over.

“Droves of people were coming in bringing trunk loads and truckloads of toys,” Salvation Army Major Cristina Trantham said.

On Thursday, the Salvation Army realized that a record 215 angels had not been returned for their angel tree program.

Trantham told 10 News that while they have extra toys for their unreturned angels, they had never seen this many not come back.

“We knew that we had to pack something for those 215 children, and when we looked at the donations we had, we knew it was not going to be enough,” Trantham said.

Then came a call for help, a call which 9-year-old Emma Morris answered.

“We were watching a movie, and I heard them saying that a lot of kids weren’t going to get a lot of toys. It wasn’t fair,” Emma said.

Emma decided she wanted to help in any way she could.

“I decided I was gonna go upstairs and get some of my toys, but my mom told me I couldn’t use used toys, then I offered to use my own money to buy them toys,” she said.

Her donation was just one of many that came in over the weekend, according to Trantham.

“We had many people who said while they were shopping at Walmart or different stores, that people saw their buggies full of toys and said, ‘What are you doing?’ They were curious and when they said, ‘We’re getting toys for the Salvation Army,’ they started giving them money and saying, ‘Can you buy more? Here, I want to help too,’” Trantham said.

Thanks to the help of many, the Salvation Army tells us they have more than enough donations to cover this year and even some for next year.

Emma’s mom Jenny Morris said she’s proud of her daughter for jumping in to help.

“We’re just so proud of Emma. She took it upon herself. She heard there was a need, and she took action. We’re just so proud of her and her big heart,” Jenny said.

As for the Salvation Army, they say they’re happy to be able to give kids a great Christmas.

“In their hour of need to receive that gift, to receive that outfit, to receive that coat, it can mean so much for them. It can be a turning point,” Trantham said.

Tesa Price with the Salvation Army sent us this statement that says:

We cannot possibly express just how grateful we are for our community!! Over the weekend we received an abundance of gifts to allow us to shop in-house for those 215 unreturned Angels as well as the children who reside in our Turning Point domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking shelter and enable us to get a head start on stocking our Toy Shop for Angel Tree 2024, as we anticipate an even greater need next Christmas.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for supporting our Angel Tree program. Without you, we couldn’t support children in need throughout the Roanoke Valley in the magnitude that we do!

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!!

Tesa Price

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

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