Salvation Army Carson City Corps Capt. Holly Beeson at the organization’s headquarters Nov. 27, 2023.
Photo by Scott Neuffer.
Facing a significant shortfall for the annual Angel Tree program that provides gifts for children on Christmas, leaders of the Salvation Army Carson City Corps are asking community members for help.
“It’s about the kids,” Salvation Army Capt. Holly Beeson said Monday. “Christmas is a time for them to come together as a family … For me, it’s a gateway, a reason to gather. Everybody is gathered together making memories, and I think it’s very important.”
Out of approximately 548 kids in the program this year, from 252 families, only 120 have been adopted for gifts as of Monday, according to Beeson.
“Every situation is different,” she said. “People have lost their job, or their rent has increased. The cost-of-living increases have made it so tight. It’s not the kid’s fault. They deserve a good Christmas. They deserve to gather with their family and open up a gift.”
Beeson explained the number of families in the program has roughly doubled from last year. She said the program typically has a waiting list, but this year, the Salvation Army agreed to take on more families because a community partner had planned on gathering thousands of toys. That partnership, however, fell through at the last minute, causing the shortfall, she said.
Beeson added the need is just greater this year.
“It’s always hard to tell why,” she said. “Last year, we saw that, the need coming out of COVID and prices increasing. Obviously, things are still continuing to be more expensive … Times are so hard right now that people that never would have before are coming out and asking for help.”
Angel Tree donation stations are set up at the Walmarts in Carson City and Gardnerville. Shoppers can pick tags from trees, shop for items and drop off the donation in bins at the location. Beeson said people can also make monetary donations at the Salvation Army headquarters, 911 E. Second St.,, one block south of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office.
Businesses up for a challenge can take on multiple requests, divvying up tags among employees. Those interested can contact Beeson at email@example.com or call 775-887-9120 ext. 1.
Beeson said the Salvation Army is picking up Walmart donations every other day for the Angel Tree program. She prefers all donations are in by Dec. 11 but can go to Dec. 13 at the latest.
Monday, Beeson and helpers were in the process of transforming the Salvation Army headquarters into “Santa’s Workshop,” where parents in the Angel Tree program will be able to pick out gifts for their children.
“We’re going to decorate it. All the walls will be scenery, like winter and toy shops,” Beeson said. “And then we’ll have our tables set up and basically sorted. The toys will be sorted according to age and gender, just to set it up for a kind of shopping walkthrough.”
For information visit https://carsoncity.salvationarmy.org/.