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      Angel Tree programs give to families in need

      Salvation Army volunteers helped parents sort through holiday gifts Saturday as they hosted their annual distribution day for the Angel Tree program.

      Donations and sponsors through the Angel Tree program provided the many toys for holiday gift-giving. Parents of deserving Panhandle children chose gifts to put under the tree. Donors provided not only toys, but other necessities, such as shoes and coats, for children in need.

      The Angel Tree program began in 1979, when Charles and Shirley White saw a need for holiday gifts for young children. They started by writing gift needs on Hallmark cards. The cards, with angels pictured on the front, were placed on the Christmas Tree at the local mall.

      Today, the Angel Tree program is celebrated across the nation.