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TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – Times have been tough lately for 25 year old Candace Sanders. The mother of two is 16 weeks pregnant, and had to recently quit her job because of health related issues.

That’s why she was at Tupelo’s Salvation Army to sign her two kids up for Angel Tree.

“This is a great program, it helps single moms like me to where we;re not just worried about our kids happiness, at least they will be happy,” Sanders said.

Angel Tree matches donors with children from families who are unable to provide gifts and clothing to their kids during Christmas.

“It makes Christmas happy, it makes that you don’t have to struggle to figure, ‘ am I going to get my child something, are they going to have something,” said Maj. Sue Dorman, of the Tupelo Salvation Army.

Applicants must bring a photo id, social security cards on everyone in their household, birth certificates on all children ages 1 to 12, all bills and all proofs of income.

Then they visit with volunteer screeners who determine their eligibility. Mary Green has been helping at the Salvation Army for years. She says despite an economy on the upswing, there are still many families struggling to make ends meet.

“The thing I’ve heard today was, I’ve lost my job, hours have been cut, drastically, or I’m unemployed, looking for a job,” Green said.

Judy Huffstatler’s son has a job, but once again will need help providing Christmas presents for his kids.

“Last year it was to see their smiles , bright eyes when they opened the gifts had something under the tree this year I hope to get the same face with those bright eyes wide open and screaming oh, ‘Santa left us gifts,” Huffstatler said.

Applications for Angel Tree will be taken here at the Carnation Street offices through Friday, then all that information is put into computers and the Angel Trees themselves go up all throughout the community November 11th.

For more information call 662.842.9222.

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