The Salvation Army is taking applications for the 2018 Angel Tree program. The program serves disadvantaged children from 0 to 12 years of age and senior citizens 62 an older.
"The Angel Tree program was started 39 years ago by officers with the Salvation Army who noticed there were children in financial need and would not be able to have Christmas without other people's help," said Sann Terry, corporate and community relations for the Salvation Army. "They set up and developed the angel that goes on the tree. Donors are allowed to take and purchase gifts for those angels and it's the Salvation Army's responsibility to get those gifts to children in need."
Last year 1,245 children and seniors were served through the program. Organizers expect to serve about 1,300 people this year. There are requirements to participate in the program.
"We want to serve the ones that are in need. That's why we do income verification. We want to be assured the people we're helping are in dire need," Terry said.
There is a change in the program this year. Instead of having an open application period, applicants are asked to make an appointment.
"Before when we did this we had long lines. Now we're making appointments," Terry said.
To register for an appointment, call 870-774-2701. Appointments are available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 22, 24 and 26 and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 23 and 25.
When applying, people need to bring valid identification, proof of address, income and documentation of any government assistance.
Birth certificates are required for each child in the household being registered.