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The Aegis
Harford County

Salvation Army of Havre de Grace sees increased demand for Angel Tree program; sponsors needed for nearly 500 children in Harford and Cecil counties

The Salvation Army of Havre De Grace is looking for individual, corporate and team sponsors to help save Christmas for 482 children who signed up to receive gifts through its Angel Tree program.

With limited resources and fewer donors, the organization is looking for help.

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“With less than 38 days left before Christmas, we are calling out for help to folks living in Harford County and in Cecil County,” said Roger Glick, area commander of the Salvation Army of Central Maryland. “There are many children who will go without Christmas this year due to families having a hard time putting food on the table.”

Last year, the Salvation Army of Havre De Grace was able to provide Angel Tree Christmas assistance to 375 children from birth to age 12. Children were gifted with coats, presents and a complete outfit.

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This year, there has been a 28.5% increase in requests for Christmas assistance because of inflation, the Salvation Army said. This is the largest number of children that The Salvation Army of Havre De Grace has ever had for its Angel Tree program.

“Angel Tree is circulated via online applications as well as on social media and in-person applications taken over the course of three weeks,” said Christina Dobney, service manager for the Salvation Army of Havre De Grace. “We suspect the lack of donors is closely associated with the economy. With the increased need to our food pantry, we have heard more and more folks telling us this is the first time they have ever had to use a food pantry. People who are normally doing ‘OK’ are struggling with the price increases.”

Dobney has noticed this upward trend since September, and she said most of their clients will have to decide between Christmas gifts, food on the table, a roof over their heads or gas in the car to get to work.

“We have many parents who must forgo Christmas this year due to inflation, rising food costs and rising service costs,” said Samantha Bowman, Angel Tree coordinator, the Salvation Army of Central Maryland. “Even two working parents in one household must make a choice between putting food on the table or putting gas in their car. The economy is going after both working parents. As someone in charge of Angel Tree Christmas assistance for Central Maryland, I refuse to allow any child to go without gifts on Christmas.”

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Although Salvation Army is struggling to provide Christmas for these families, they are still trying make sure that families in Harford and Cecil counties can enjoy Christmas without having to lose their homes.

“This is the largest number of Angels in Havre De Grace that I have ever seen, so the pressure is on to leave no child behind this season,” Dobney said. “Even if people cannot adopt an angel, a donation of a single new outfit or a single new toy goes a long way to make Christmas happen. Many families barely have enough means to pay for rental, utilities or food, let alone toys or clothing for Christmas.”

Donors who want to donate to Havre De Grace’s Angel Tree Christmas assistance program can go to www.Angeltreemd.org to make a digital donation.

Angel Trees are also located at the Walmart in Aberdeen, Fallston, Abindgon, Elkton and North East; as well as Harford Mall near the Santa.

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In-person donations can be made at the Salvation Army of Havre De Grace office at 300 Rear Seneca Avenue in Havre De Grace. Call Christina Dobney at 410-939-353 for more information or e-mail her at: Christina.Dobney@uss.salvationarmy.org.

For more information, visit www.SA-MD.org


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