Salvation Army, JCPenney Launch Online Shopping for the Needy

The Salvation Army and JC Penney launched on Tuesday an online Angel Giving Tree program that will allow customers to adopt and then shop for needy children and seniors this Christmas.

Until Dec. 14, people can search for an Angel they would like to adopt by location, age range and gender. An Angel who matches the criteria will be e-mailed to the customer along with a list of needed items. The e-mail will also include a link to nearby drop-off locations and ship-to addresses for online orders.

FedEx Ground is supporting the effort by shipping gifts purchased through the Web site for free to any of the 1,200 Salvation Army collection centers nationwide.

"We are excited about this new online Angel Giving Tree program with JC Penney that will allow The Salvation Army to build upon a great Christmas tradition by reaching a new online audience," said Major George Hood, national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army.

"With the winter months around the corner, we appreciate this opportunity to inspire the American public to make a better Christmas for the millions of children and seniors living in poverty," he said. "One small gift can bring joy to a Salvation Army Angel this Christmas."

The new online Angel Giving Tree program builds on The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program that has been in operation for more than 40 years.

JC Penney spokesman Mike Boylson says the online shopping program will make it easier for the company's customers to give back this holiday.

"By leveraging the strength of, we are helping to modernize an American tradition – the Angel Tree program – and creating an innovative way to help families in need in our communities across the nation," said Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for JC Penney. "Launching this program with The Salvation Army allows us to elevate our support for a cause that is extremely important to our customers and Associates, underscoring our focus on the 'Joy of Giving' this holiday season."

The online Angel Giving Tree program will be promoted through a multimedia marketing campaign including in-store, print, online and e-mail advertising as well as social media initiatives on Facebook Connect.

The Salvation Army is an evangelical Christian ministry that serves nearly 30 million Americans each year through a wide range of social services that includes providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children.

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