A local business gave children and senior citizens the Christmas they wished for this year through employee donations.
The Babcock & Wilcox Company, located in the Ballantyne Corporate Park, donated 54 gifts to people across Charlotte through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree and Silver Bells program. The Angel Tree program, which runs from Nov. 4 to Dec. 15 each year, received 34 donations this season and the Silver Bells program, which runs the same length of time, received 20 donations.
Among the gifts were 12 bicycles, a vacuum, a microwave, household items, clothing and toys.
“Thanks to Babcock and Wilcox, 34 children and 20 senior citizens will wake up Christmas morning to gifts under the tree,” said Shelley Henderson, director of communications and public relations for the greater Charlotte area of the Salvation Army.
This is the third year the company has donated to the Salvation Army, according to Aimee Mills, media relations spokesperson at Babcock & Wilcox. With locations across the country, Babcock & Wilcox participates in many charity events to help local communities. An employee who was passionate about the cause suggested the Salvation Army programs that the Charlotte location participated in, Mills said.
“We hope (the donation) brings joy and Christmas cheer to those who receive the gifts…” she said. “On a local level, we really believe in community involvement and engagement and have a great workforce in Charlotte that pours out their hearts for the community.”
The Angel Tree program lets people pick cards with the names of children across Charlotte and the gift ideas and wishes for each child. According to the Salvation Army website, more than 13,000 children received new clothes, shoes and toys last year through the program.
Silver Bells is the sister program to Angel Tree and allows residents to donate to the elderly who are on a tight, fixed income and need necessities such as clothing, shoes, toiletries and food.
Besides the Angel Tree and Silver Bells programs, the Salvation Army runs the Center of Hope, a shelter that serves more than 350 homeless women and children; seven Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs; a low-income house for seniors at Booth Garden Apartments; a 117-bed rehabilitation center for chemically addicted men; and the Salvation Army Christmas Center.
Donations to the Salvation Army, in the form of money or time, are always welcome.
“Whether it is a child who needs Christmas gifts, homeless women and children who need shelter, at-risk youth who need mentoring and guidance or low-income senior citizens, the Salvation Army is there to help, but we can only do so with the support of the community,” Henderson said. “Our giving is based on the needs of the clients and our ability to serve. We do not charge for our services, so our ability to serve is based on the help of the community.”
Find more information about the programs offered by the Salvation Army and how to donate or volunteer at www.salvationarmy.org.