Kewanee Salvation Army helping area kids have a Merry Christmas

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KEWANEE, Ill. (KWQC) – The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program is underway in communities throughout the Quad Cities area.

Director of the Salvation Army in Kewanee, Linda Bolls says they need more gifts this year.

“There’s a big need here in Kewanee and we have lots of kids that we want to give a very Merry Christmas to,” Bolls said.

She says the Angel Tree project will help make that possible for about 1,000 kids in Kewanee this year.

“It’s very heartwarming for them,” she said. “So many of the moms have picked up their gifts and they said, you know, without these gifts, our kids wouldn’t get anything.”

She says that wouldn’t happen, though, if it wasn’t for the community’s willingness to help.

This will be the fifth year Nancy Sutton, of Kewanee, will be buying gifts off the Angel Tree.

“The kids put on here what they want and I was looking and they want Batman or they want Spiderman or whatever, and so it’s kind of fun to get into those areas of the store I don’t normally travel and look for things,” Sutton said.

She says because there is such a need , she will be buying for two kids this year.

“It’s just, it’s Christmas, it’s a time to buy things for others and help people [who] are in need, and Kewanee is kind of a low-income area, so we do have quite a few people [who] are needy and just need a helping hand,” Sutton said.

She says she’s doing it so every child in Kewanee can have a Merry Christmas.

“It really comes down to when they go back to school, to be able to you know have happy thoughts with the other kids and not to feel like they were left out,” Sutton said.

Bolls says Angel Tree gifts will need to be bought and taken to the Salvation Army by Dec. 15. Families will get them the following Monday and Tuesday. People can find Angel Trees in Kewanee at Walmart, the YMCA, the State Bank of Toulon, the Mississippi Valley IH Credit Union, the Community State Bank, and People’s National Bank.

The Walmart in Kewanee will also have a “Fill a Truck” program going on until Dec. 15 for people to buy stocking stuffers to go along with the Angel Tree gifts.

In partnership with the Kewanee Salvation Army, Patch’s Toy Drive held a taco benefit to raise money two weekends ago.

The drive was started by Amber Patch-Troxell to honor her brother, Schuyler Patch, a veteran who was killed by a roadside bomb in 2009 while serving in Afghanistan.

The taco benefit raised more than $6,000, which will all go towards Angel tags that don’t get picked off the tree.

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