For some families in the Tri-Cities, putting Christmas gifts under the tree is simply impossible. But every year, generous shoppers pick a child's name from the Salvation Army Angel Tree and help make it a merry Christmas.
The deadline to adopt an angel will be here before you know it.
Believe it or not, there were 3,500 children whose names hung on the Angel Trees in Kingsport this year. A child's small list brimming with the hopes of generosity.
For Kim Grieb, adopting an angel is a Christmas tradition of sorts. "There are a lot of children out there that I would like to see have a Christmas," she told us.
But time is ticking, and News 5 learned there are about 800 children with the Kingsport Salvation Army still left to be adopted. "It's sad, I wish I could take all of them," added Grieb.
The deadline to adopt is December 13 and more kids are waiting to be adopted compared to years past. "It's a little more than last year at this same time but we have a few more angels this year than we did last year," said Major Sharon Baso with the Kingsport Salvation Army.
Major Baso adds she's confident every angel will be adopted, but sometimes shoppers simply wait until the last minute. "[They don't realize] the need is there and maybe they're out in the community or they hear stories that there are angels that need to be adopted," she said.
But there's another problem -- Major Baso says some of the older children or teens can be harder to adopt. "We feel it's important if a child is still living at home, still going to school they would like to have a Christmas gift too," added Major Baso.
While each gift list varies, it's the angels people might pass over Grieb says she always picks, holding a piece of her heart Christmas morning. "[I'm] thinking about them, opening their gifts, having something under their tree," she said.
The deadline to adopt an angel is the same for the Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City Salvation Armies. That day is Thursday December 13; however, unwrapped gifts can still be dropped off.
For more information you can call:
Johnson City Salvation Army (423) 926-2101
Bristol Salvation Army (423) 764-2777
Kingsport Salvation Army (423) 246-6671