SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- With the help of several volunteers, the Salvation Army gave gifts for about 2,200 angels for the Angel Tree program Thursday (Dec. 14) morning.
Months of planning led to this event where families, who may have needed some extra help this year, received gifts for their children this Christmas.
“Its kind of like preparing for a wedding," Ashley Robinett with the Salvation Army said. "You know it takes a lot of work ahead of time and a lot of details have to be put into place, and then you have your wedding or Distribution Day, and it’s all out the door and at the end of the day you get to kind of relax and it’s just really rewarding to make sure all of these gifts are going to these families.”
Robinett said the amount of generosity they saw from volunteers and donors has been overwhelming. Various groups including Arkansas Trucking Association, came out to help sort through and then distributed all of the gifts.
Shannon Newton with Arkansas Trucking Association said each year they go out and serve the community in some way. They have worked with the Salvation Army before but never during distribution day.
“To be here on the day where families are coming to get the gifts, is a unique experience," Newton said. "It’s something that we haven’t had the opportunity to do before... so to give those parents and those families that sense of comfort and just knowing that they are going to be able to look forward to the holidays and enjoy them is very rewarding for our folks."
Along with all of the toys given, Tyson donated chickens for families.
Legacy National Bank was also apart of distribution day.
Luke Parsons of Legacy National Bank said he never knew that there was a big need here in Northwest Arkansas. During 2016, he and other volunteers from the bank helped during distribution day. Parsons said more gifts were given this year.
Parsons said seeing so many gifts and knowing that they all came from people in the community is humbling.
"We do reading programs at the elementary schools because our kids go there," Parsons said. "The recipients of these gifts, the buyers of these gifts are people we go to church with, people we work with, people that we know in the community... it’s really important for us to be here today.”
The Salvation Army did not finish handing out everything Thursday. Efforts will continue Friday morning.