The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program is kicking off again, but organizersare worried that more donors haven’t already signed on.
“It’s been very difficult to get godparents this year,” the coordinator of the program, María Los, said. “We’re trying to motivate businesses, but they’re saying that other groups arrived earlier that they’re donating to.”
The program matches participants with children in the Salvation Army’s afterschool care program for the nation’s poor; the “godparents” donate Christmas gifts or cash to buy gifts for the kids sponsored.
“You’re showing them that there’s someone else who loves them. You’re bringing them a little bit of love,” Los said about the program.
The gifts will be given to the children at Christmas parties that go from Dec. 20 to 24 in all 16 of the Salvation Army’s day care centers throughout the country.
So far, a few hotels, TV Channel 7, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the Costa Rican-American Chamber of Congress (AMCHAM) and a few high schools have pledged to participate.
Donor companies receive a list of kids from the Salvation Army and solicit presents from their employees or, in The Tico Times’ case, readers.
Angel Tree began in 1992 when the Salvation Army asked The Tico Times to publish a full-page ad asking for sponsors to donate Christmas gifts for poor children. Readers have been donating ever since (TT, Oct. 26, 2007). Last year, more than 5,000 gifts were distributed through the program.
For information on how to participate in the Angel Tree Christmas gift program, see the ad on the facing page or call the Salvation Army at 2221-8266 or 2221-8502.