Former department store becomes North Pole for Salvation Army Angel Tree toy giveaway

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – The Salvation Army will be making Christmas wishes for thousands of area children on Wednesday with its annual Angel Tree toy event.

Collecting toys was difficult last year due to the pandemic, but the association still managed to donate to 3,500 families.

Despite another difficult year for many families, the local commander of the Salvation Army said challenges such as the pandemic and inflation had not impacted donations. The Northeast Florida Salvation Army plans to donate toys to 4,000 families at this year’s event.

The former Regency Mall’s JCPenney’s is home to the Angel Tree distribution, but it’s more like Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole these days.

“We were very happy with the amount of gifts that came back. The size of the donations, the generosity of the donors. It really shocked us, ”said Major Keath Biggers, the local commander of the Salvation Army. “Each child will receive a large number of gifts on Christmas Day because of the generous and generous spirit of Northeast Florida. “

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Donations raised by The Salvation Army will go to families who cannot afford it.

Jen Lee has volunteered for the cast for three years in a row.

“I have two kids of my own and it would break my heart if I couldn’t give my babies gifts,” Lee said. “It’s just great to see people smile.”

The Angel Tree event is NOT open to the public. Families receiving toys on Wednesday have already registered through the Salvation Army.

However, it is not too late to give. Go to Salvation for ways to donate.

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