HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - You can now help make one child's holiday a little more special the next time you make a trip to Turtle Creek Mall.
Salvation Army Hattiesburg kicked off it's annual Angel Tree Program at the mall on Friday. The Sacred Heart Preschool Choir was there to ring, or should we say sing, in the annual tradition.
"It's an opportunity for everyone in the community to give back," said Captain Stacey Connelly with The Salvation Army.
The Angel Tree will be located at the entrance to J.C. Penney inside Turtle Creek Mall. When you stop by to choose an "angel," you will learn details about the child like his or her age, sex, clothing sizes and wish list items this Christmas.
If you can't make it to the mall, you can still help from home through The Salvation Army's Online Adoption Program.
"The kids sang a beautiful song, 'Angels Watching Over Me.' We have the Angel Tree and its just a great opportunity for those in this area to be able to give back to others, I think that's what Christ calls us to do," Connelly said.
The Salvation Army asks all gifts to be dropped off at Turtle Creek Mall or the Family Store on U.S. 49 by December 15, 2017.
Connelly said the organization will be able to use the damaged location on William Carey Parkway as a distribution center, even though construction is still going on after January's EF-3 tornado shut down operations.
"We're hoping that eventually, we are almost finished with the roof construction," Connelly said. "The process has been slow moving, but we are getting it done in phases."
Connelly said the transition following the tornado to other locations has worked throughout the Pine Belt, but is disappointed The Salvation Army will not be able to provide its shelter program this season. That shelter is usually open at the building still under construction.
The Angel Tree at Turtle Creek Mall is one of several around the Pine Belt. Connelly said The Salvation Army will help over 500 families in seven counties this holiday season.