Imagine a Christmas day where you wake up with nothing underneath your tree.

And now you need to explain to your children why Santa did not give them that toy they’ve been asking for every day since February.

That’s exactly what Salvation Army Majors Charles and Shirley White wanted to avoid when they started the Angel Tree project in 1979.

A Little History

The program developed its name after the White family identified the wishes of local children by writing their gift needs on Hallmark greeting cards featuring angels. The cards were then placed on a Christmas tree at a Lynchburg, Virginia, mall allowing shoppers to select a child or children to bless.

As a result, more than 700 children were given a brighter Christmas in that very first year! The Whites moved to Nashville, Tennessee, three years later and launched the program in the Music City. From there, news of Angel Tree quickly spread throughout the country.

The BARR Credit Connection

Five years ago, after joining the Salvation Army board of directors, BARR Credit CEO Randy Frazee decided to give back to his community by setting up an Angel Tree in BARR’s headquarters lobby. Frazee explained, “I never knew there were so many families in need of assistance, and how much of a shortage of toys were being donated during the holiday season.”

Children receiving gifts from the Angel Tree are from families who have applied for Christmas assistance through the Salvation Army Social Services program. A description of the child and gift they want is written on a tag and hung on the tree for people to take and use to buy the gift.

Thanks to so many generous staff contributions, the company has been able to fill its Christmass tree with presents for the past five years, helping hundreds of children get the gifts they’ve been wanting all year.

BARR Credit Services strives to bring positive contributions to the general public. Projects like the Angel Tree really support the company to come together as a family and give back to the community. A true blessing for everyone and a Merrier Christmas as well!