Giving back during Angel Tree Drive-Thru Distribution

SALISBURY, Md.- It felt like Christmas Day at the Salvation Army Lower Eastern Shore Tuesday as cars lined up to receive presents for the for the Angel Tree Drive-Thru Distribution event.

“It makes me feel like what we are doing is making a difference, its helping families that need it the most, the Salvation Army has done this for a number of years and we are just grateful to come alongside families that toys, that need hope, that need restoration,” Captain Matthew Trantham, with the Salvation Army, said.

The Salvation Army partners with community members to collect toys for families in need during the holiday season.

“If I tried to guess the number of gifts it would probably be over 10,000, I don’t know but it’s 1,270 or so children that are receiving toys today,” Trantham said.

This is the organization’s second time running the event as a thrive-thru. They made the change last year due to COVID-19.

To receive gifts, families who registered, will sign in to get a number. They will then get in the drive-thru line where volunteers will get those gifts into their cars.

“Kids are out of school there’s a lot of people looking for opportunities to give back and this is one way that several of them are, so we depend on the community to volunteer,” Trantham said.

But what many of these grateful families don’t see,  is how hard these volunteers work to make sure the holidays stay happy.

“Bringing everybody together, it’s a great bonding activity,” Farah Mitchell, a volunteer, said.

“We are just so close knit here and I just feel that’s how Salisbury is I feel, it’s just the embodiment of it all,” Alexis Layton, a volunteer, said.

Volunteers told me they keep coming back each year to give presents to families because of how rewarding that experience is.

“I love helping people, being able to have that feeling knowing that these kids are going to have a great Christmas,” Lahela Hall, volunteer, said.

“Just how these families are going to feel on Christmas Day, I just wish I could be there for them and just to see how they feel, it’s amazing,” Layton said.

While volunteers and organizers told me they hope to bring joy for Christmas, they also wish to help financially.

“We know through the pandemic that a lot of families are still struggling, we know that they are having a hard time and this is one way to help give back, it’s one way to alleviate some of the financial burden that families have,” Trantham said.

Categories: Local News, Maryland