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      Can't afford Christmas gifts? Angel Tree and Teen Christmas are here to help

      Every year about this time, the Salvation Army begins work on the annual "Angel Tree" program that aims to provide gifts for children in need at Christmas time. But just *kids* are its target.

      "Usually 12 years old is the cut off", said Major Tim Grider with the Salvation Army.

      That's where "Teen Christmas" comes in.

      "When the little brothers and sisters are getting something," said Teen Christmas Board Member, D.J. Stubben. "We felt badly because teenagers, they were being left out and we didn't want that to happen."

      Teens in school, ages 13 to 17, can register for this program through the Salvation Army along with all the other children who qualify for the Angel Tree.

      "Every teenager will get a $50 gift certificate on a designated day so that they can go the Walmart on Coulter to have a shopping spree so buy brand new clothes and brand new shoes", said Stubben.

      Of course, none of this would be possible without the community's help.

      "We're dependent upon the community to adopt these angels and to help us out", said Major Grider.

      "We're wanting to work with a lot of schools, churches, businesses", added Stubben. "If they want to have a jeans day where everybody pays a dollar or something like that to adopt a teenager, this is most welcome."

      That caring spirit isn't too hard to come by in our area.

      "The Amarillo area has been really good to care," said Stubben. "It is just so cool to be part of this, to be part of this area."

      S o, it really will be a Merry Christmas to all.

      To register your child for either program, visit the Salvation Army Church at 2101 S. Van Buren starting Monday, October 17 through Friday, October 28. The hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm each day except Tuesdays when hours will be from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

      For more information on what you need to register your child for the Angel Tree or your teen for Teen Christmas, call the Salvation Army at 373-6631 or find them online.

      If you'd like to donate to the Teen Christmas program, call Welcome Pardner at 356-1555 or you can find them online here.