The gifts listed on about 2,000 Angel Tree tags already are on Tri-Citians' shopping lists.
The Salvation Army's Angel tree program, which will provide gifts for about 2,500 children this year, is going well so far, said Maj. Deanna Sholin, Salvation Army Corps officer.
About 515 families signed up for the Salvation Army's Christmas aid this year, which includes a toy per child age 12 and younger and a box of food. The organization stopped accepting applications after the first week in November.
After the deadline, Colleen Miller, the Salvation Army's social services director, said they had a large number of calls for Christmas help, the same as last year. The Salvation Army referred those families to the local Toys for Tots, which finished signing up children ages 10 and under this weekend, and to 211, a phone number people can call to get information about local services.
"There's always going to be people that are missed," Miller said.
The weekend before Christmas is when the Salvation Army tends to get most of the donated toys, Sholin said.
The Angel trees are up at 18 locations in the Tri-Cities, with the main location at Columbia Center mall in Kennewick.
And the local Salvation Army already has surpassed the number of families adopted for Christmas.
More than 60 families have been adopted by businesses, organizations, groups and other families, Miller said. That's about 20 more families than last year.
Adopted families receive gifts for all the children. Each parent also receives a gift, as well as items such as laundry detergent and wrapping paper.
But the Salvation Army's kettle campaign isn't doing as well. Sholin said as of Monday the nonprofit was $22,000 behind where it needed to be to make the goal of $170,000. The group had collected $47,380 as of Saturday, compared to the $69,292 that had been received at the same time last year.
The money raised during the holiday bell-ringing supports programs year-round including utility and rent assistance, and makes up a fourth of the Mid-Columbia Salvation Army's budget.
Sholin said the recent weather, which has included snow, ice and fog, has affected donations.
To volunteer for bell-ringing, call 943-7977. Donations also can be sent to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1466, Richland, WA 99352.
To adopt a family or to volunteer at the Pasco Salvation Army, contact Colleen Miller at email@example.com.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org