Salvation Army’s Angel Tree distribution day reaches over 1,200 kids

WSLS 10 volunteered at the event to pass out gifts

ROANOKE, Va. – “Today, it’s distribution day, it’s Christmas cheer day, it’s joy, it’s hope, it’s love, it’s sharing with the community today here at the Salvation Army,” Major Cristina Trantham said.

After months of preparation, the Salvation Army handed out the thousands of presents collected for the Angel Tree program.

Trantham said it’s a day filled with joy.

“People as they’re driving through are super excited about what’s going on. It is really cold outside but it’s just this feeling of warmth and joy,” she said.

10 News Anchor Jenna Zibton spent the morning giving back.

“It’s nice to see everybody’s reaction too, like when you give them the presents and they’re so thankful. It’s really nice. It’s been a fun morning,” Zibton said.

The Salvation Army partners with the Railyard Dawgs, who came by to hand out gifts.

Captain Mac Jansen tells us they’re supporting a community that supports them.

“No one should be lonely or alone, and kids shouldn’t not get presents on Christmas, so you know it’s a good feeling that they can wake up and get something that they deserve,” Jansen said.

As we told you, the Salvation Army was short on donations last week, after 215 angels weren’t returned, but after an outpouring of last-minute community support, every car was filled.

“On Friday of last week, I was pretty down, I was pretty gloomy. But today, the atmosphere, the attitude is completely different,” Trantham said.

A day about the joy of the season...the season of giving and how our community stepped up to help its own.

“It’s just a great feeling of fulfillment to be able to share with our neighbors in need,” Trantham said.

About the Author

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

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