By: Cierra Putman
MIDLAND - This year the Midland Salvation Army has more than 2,000 children enrolled in their Angel Tree Program. The Salvation Army hosts the program every year and volunteers adopt a child and buys Christmas gifts for them.
One Midland mother says it's a way to give that will keep kids smiling all year long.
Amanda Cowart says the sound of her children laughing while playing with toys is why she signs them up for Angel Tree.
"I didn't want them to be without and I was willing to go to whatever limit I needed to make sure they had their smiling faces and their wishes granted," Cowart said.
She says Angel Tree is sometimes the only reason one year old Zaida and 6-year-old Leroy's Christmas wishes come true.
"I don't make enough money," Cowart said. "I am single parent. I work 44 to 54 hours a week and with three kids, it's not enough."
The Salvation Army says they have an additional 125 families, like the Cowart's this holiday season.
"They're struggling everyday just to make ends meet and their children are expecting something from Santa Claus," Cpt. Linda Keeney with the Salvation Army, said."It's heartbreaking as a parent not to be able to provide that for your kids on Christmas morning."
On top of helping the little ones, they're also trying to brighten the season for teenagers.
"Most of our teenagers struggle with self-esteem and if you have shoes that have giant holes in them or if you have clothes that don't fit just right then that's very discouraging for a teenager," Keeney said.
The Salvation Army hopes Midlanders will once again open their hearts and wallets for the children.
Cowart says she remembers those giving souls whenever her children play; not only on Christmas but all year round.
Angel Trees are already on display at local stores including Mardel, Academy and Walmart just to name a few.
To adopt a child all you have to do is pick one off the tree, buy them a gift and make sure it gets to the Salvation Army by December 17.