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Concord University Continues Tradition Of Donating To Salvation Army's Angel Tree Program

CONTACT:  Sarah Dalton

Concord University

Office of Advancement

PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712

(304) 384-6312,


After 4 p.m.






ATHENS, W.Va.  – The spirit of giving is alive in Athens as the Concord University community donated again this year to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Concord has been participating in the Angel Tree program since 1988, and has been making dreams come true for countless children since then.

The Angel Tree program was created in 1979 when Majors Charles and Shirley White, who were working in Lynchburg, Va., wrote the wishes of children on greeting cards that featured angels. They placed the cards on a Christmas tree in a shopping mall, and shoppers could select the angel they wished to help with their Christmas wishes. More than 700 children were given a better Christmas that year alone.

The children included in the program are as young as newborns and as old as 14. The tags hanging on the tree in Concord’s Student Center included their first name, age, sizes of clothing, and toys they are interested in. Volunteers could donate what is on the tag, or anything else they could afford or deemed appropriate.

All of the 75 angels on Concord’s tree were adopted within a week this year. Concord University is already a giving campus, and the popularity of the angels proves it. “When we look around at each other we realize we are blessed. There are a lot of projects sponsored on campus for others and people are willing to help if they will just ask,” said Lynnis Hill, Administrative Assistant in the Student Center. Hill has worked with the Angel Tree program since it arrived on campus in 1988.

“My donors come from faculty, staff, students and the community as well,” she said. “I even have some students and offices ask about them before they arrive.”

“Everyone is great to assist us with this project. If they are afraid they can’t do it alone, I tell them to get with friends or have their organization help sponsor the child,” she said.

Every year after the gifts are due, the Salvation Army returns to collect the mound of presents. “I wish everybody could be here when they come to get them because it’s such a wonderful and exciting sight to see,” said Hill.

The children receiving gifts are not the only ones affected by these donations. Those giving gifts often enjoy the experience as well. “Last year I asked if anyone wanted to tell me how they’re affected by doing this and I had a few people to report that it made Christmas more special for them and their children as they learned the meaning of giving to those less fortunate,” said Hill.

“I just can’t imagine a child without a Christmas or a toy and I think there are a lot of families who need this support. It’s all about the kids,” she said. “I hope that we can continue to be of assistance to them so no child is forgotten, and that we’ll continue to share the hope of Christmas with those less fortunate and the Salvation Army in the future.”


Concord University student Ronni Wood wrote this press release as part of

 a journalism practicum in the Office of Advancement. She is from Clothier, W.Va.


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