Each year on Christmas morning, thousands of children in Galveston County awaken to the uncomfortable reminder that they live in a home facing difficult financial challenges.

Not their fault, but it stings all the same.

Fortunately, there are options out there for you to help. While we commend any organization joining the effort to make a child’s Christmas brighter, we believe The Salvation Army is one worthy of your consideration.

The Salvation Army in Galveston County manages a nationally recognized outreach program named “Angel Tree.” While the premise is simple, connecting the children in homes of families in need with gifts, there is a lot of hard work and coordination behind the scenes to make sure resources are being put to their best use.

Here is a quick breakdown of how The Salvation Army works to ensure your donation or participation is, indeed, reaching qualified homes.

First, social agencies and schools refer families in need for help with food, toys or clothing for Christmas to The Salvation Army. Families are then interviewed to determine the level of need for each family. Gift ideas are captured during the interview process and then placed on Salvation Army Angel Tree tags.

These tags then are hung on what is known as “Angel Trees” throughout the community.

Behind the scenes, volunteers collect and place gifts into larger bags earmarked for individual families.

On the day before Christmas Eve, qualifying families return to The Salvation Army to collect their individually prepared bag.

Angel Trees can be found around your community or by reaching out to your local Salvation Army office. Donations are being taken until Monday.

We offer this illustration to share with you how easy it is to make a difference in the lives of children in need this year.

We also know there are many other groups making efforts to meet similar needs. The big difference maker is, however, you stepping up and being a part of the solution.

• Leonard Woolsey

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com

President & Publisher of The Galveston County Daily News.

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