WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Salvation Army of Palm Beach County wrapped up one of its most successful Angel Tree efforts, providing gifts to more than 2,500 children and raising more than $300,000 of in-kind gifts from local retail partners.
Families and individuals also purchased gift wish items and clothing for them to enjoy Christmas morning.
The holiday season collection was "one of the largest in recent memory," according to a news release.
Distribution efforts took place in Boca Raton, Belle Glade and West Palm Beach. Volunteers and staff members packed gifts and had them distributed into cars. Larger items, including bicycles scooters, were wheeled out.
Bell ringers were on hand throughout the county, including Walmart.
"Fore more than 40 years, Walmart has worked with the Salvation Army to keep hope alive for some of our country's most vulnerable populations," Major Leisa Hall, area commander of the Salvation Army said. "We are so grateful to them and to our trusted local partners for helping distribute Christmas gifts to families that have been negatively impacted by the recent economic downturn.
"We are so thankful that with the incredible support provided by our partners, their employees and customers, and we were able to ensure that our community's children receive gifts this Christmas."
The Salvation Army of Palm Beach County "has helped countless individuals and families overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships since 1922," according to the release.
Since then, they have provided 112,020 meals, 33,790 nights of lodging, 5,759 toys through Angel Tree and 10,463 helped by social services.
Donations are still being accepted by the Palm Beach County organization.
The Salvation Army was established in 1985.