MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Salvation Army believes when you give, ‘Hope marches on.’ This is the theme as registration for the Angel Tree campaign kicks off.     

However things are a bit different this year, as families must register in person and they only have a few weeks to do so.   

Calvin Hicks was the first person in line Monday morning.

“We got out here about 12 o’clock yesterday, midnight trying to be the first person in line,” Hicks said.

Camping out inside his black station wagon with his elderly mother and four of his children is not where Hicks wanted to be. But the father of eight says it’s where he needs to be, which is why he arrived nine hours ahead of time.     

He wasn’t alone. The long line grew quickly with those in need of some holiday help.

For the first time, families must register in-person. It’s happening inside a one-time discount store along Getwell Road. Hicks said he would have traveled anywhere to get on the list.

“I suffer from a sleep disorder, so pretty much no one will hire me,” he said.

But at this moment, that all seems to fade away as he thought of the children waking up on Christmas ripping the gifts open.

There’s more this Memphis father is hopeful his children will receive. However, they won’t find under the tree — it’s the gift of being blessed, in order to be a blessing.

“Hopefully they will be in a position to be a giver or a gift, to adopt a child from the angel tree,” Hicks said.

Every car represents a family, a child, even an elder in our community who deserves to have something under the tree in time for Christmas. Remember, if you are someone who needs to register, in person of course, or if you are able to be a blessing to the less fortunate there’s information you need to know.  

With 68 days until Christmas time is already of the essence. Families and seniors who meet the criteria, must register in person today through Saturday — October 25 through the 29. 

Angel Tree Registration info:
https://salvationarmymemphis.org/angel-tree

Adopt an Angel:
https://salvationarmymemphis.org/