It is the most wonderful time of the year for many of us, but for others, not so much. And this is where the Salvation Army steps in to help, with a little help from those of us more fortunate, of course. And, as their motto states, they are doing the most good.

Maj. Robert Green with the Salvation Army here in Wichita Falls tells us about 400 families are being helped this year. And that equates to over 1,000 children, all of whom are represented on the ‘Angel Trees’ set up each year by the Salvation Army. The Angel Tree program began in Lynchburg, VA in 1979 with Majors Charles and Shirley White. Today, it is a nation-wide effort.

The trees can be found in Wichita Falls at each Wal-Mart location and at Sikes Senter Mall. You simply pick a child’s ‘angel’ off one of the trees and then do a little shopping. Maj. Green says each child’s angel card lists needs first, and then wants. The Salvation Army’s mission is to help these children be clothed and fed, first and foremost. The local Salvation Army location on 7th Street will feed hundreds of meals over the Christmas holiday.

But the work of the Salvation Army isn’t limited to just Christmas. They assist families and individuals year round with food, clothing, shelter and spirit. Millions of meals have been served, tons of clothing distributed and many souls quite literally saved since the Salvation Army began in London’s East End in 1865. They now operate in over 120 countries.

And let’s not forget about the most recognizable element of the Salvation Army at Christmastime: the famous Red Kettles. Started in San Francisco in 1891, it has become a Christmas tradition that helps raise millions of dollars each year. So while you’re out shopping over coming days, please adopt one of the ‘angels’ off one of the trees at any of the Wichita Falls Wal-Mart locations or Sikes Mall (deadline is December 15th) and please drop a few dollars in the Red Kettle, too.