By Kim West
With Thanksgiving only a week away and Christmas shopping underway, the Salvation Army Angel Tree program has already set up three locations in Athens.
Salvation Army officials said Wednesday that trees, which are festooned with paper angels and decorations, are available at Cracker Barrel, Kmart and Walmart.
The annual angel tree for congregants at First United Methodist Church are available this Sunday.
Each paper angel represents a child in need of a Christmas gift and contains a first name, age, gender and clothing sizes, along with gift-giving ideas.
People wishing to adopt an angel can choose one from the tree and return an unwrapped gift to the store by Dec. 11.
Fifty-seven angels decorated the Kmart tree when it was unveiled Friday, with some already adopted by Wednesday.
The gift requests ranged from skateboards, a remote-controlled car and rollerblades to light-up toys, learning toys and an Easy-Bake oven.
Other holiday giving campaigns also underway are the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, with its trademark bell-ringers stationed at store entrances, and the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots gift drive.
Drop-off boxes for Toys for Tots are available at several area locations, including the courthouse annexes on Washington and Clinton streets. The buildings are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.