Hattiesburg Salvation Army distributes angel tree gifts

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - It's been three weeks and many toys in the making, but today was finally the pick-up day for angel tree gifts. Hattiesburg Salvation Army Captain Andy Gilliam said this was a record year for the Hattiesburg angel tree – the best response from the community he had ever seen.  Every single angel was adopted.

Today parents- mostly moms – headed down to pick up the toys, books and gifts that their children will open on Christmas morning.

Folks in the community plucked over 2,200 angels off the tree over the last few weeks and purchased gifts for the families who needed a little extra help this season.

"It's wonderful, I mean I'm not working, I've been off with my daughter - she's been in the hospital for 4 months in Jackson, she's in rehab now, so it's good to have somebody to give my baby something for Christmas that I can't do, said Mary Walker, the parent of an angel tree child.

Parents were lined up down the road to pick up the gifts that were bundled for their children.  Families were also given food boxes to make sure tummies are full for Christmas this year.

"The one thing that you sort of wish you could see, but you really can't because you'll never want to destroy that Christmas moment, is to actually see the kids receiving these gifts. But we know that those are special moments that'll take place on Christmas day, said Captain Andy Gilliam.