Salvation Army, JC Penney Launch Annual Angel Tree Program

New enhancements allow for easier donation

For those wanting to do more than just drop some change into a bucket this Christmas, there is another way to help those in need.

The Christmas shopping has begun, and the giving season is also under way. Today, J. C. Penney, Inc., and The Salvation Army launched an enhanced Angel Giving Tree online, just in time for Christmas, the company announced. Features such as free shipping, mobile accessibility will make it easier for people to donate gifts to children in need.

“In our third year of offering the Angel Giving Tree Online, we wanted to offer the ability for individuals, families and groups to make adopting a Salvation Army Angel an annual holiday tradition,” said Jodi Gibson, divisional vice president of community relations for J. C. Penney. “By incorporating new enhancements to the adoption experience, supporters now have the means to come together and significantly impact more families in need this season.”

The Angel Giving Tree Online program is a national, online adoption program that allows customers to provide children, teens and seniors in need with Christmas gifts. Users choose an “angel” in need to adopt, and provide Christmas gifts for them. The J. C. Penney site emails the donor the adoptees’ wish list and where to send the gifts. Last year, according to J. C. Penney’s website, nearly 70,000 angels were adopted online.

This year’s enhancements allow supporters to adopt a Salvation Army child on the Web, using a mobile browser or, beginning Nov. 14, using an iPad app. It is now easier for an individual, a family or a group to adopt multiple children, J. C. Penney announced. This year, there are new resources available for inviting others to join an adopting group or to adopt themselves, including posters, sample emails, Facebook posts and tweets.

Also, in conjunction with UPS, will offer free shipping for all gifts sent directly to a Salvation Army collection center. However, gifts for “angels” can be purchased anywhere.

The Salvation Army, a Christian organization, is well-known for the red buckets and bell ringers that appear around Christmas time to collect donations for those in need.

“The Salvation Army is preparing for what is expected to be another record number of families seeking help this Christmas," Maj. George Hood, national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army, said in a statement. "With the need greater than ever, we appreciate jcpenney's strong commitment to continually enhancing the online program so that the millions of children and seniors living in poverty will have the opportunity to receive a gift this year."

The Angel Giving Tree Online program is only available on the Internet, at The company asks that all purchases be made before Dec. 9 to ensure on-time delivery. After Dec. 9, supporters have until Dec. 13 to purchase a J. C. Penney gift card for an “angel.”