Although there's no tree, the spirit lives on - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Although there's no tree, the spirit lives on

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November 27, 2006

Albany--  All of the usual Christmas sights are at the Albany Mall this holiday season.  Bell ringers greet shoppers outside.

Inside, Santa Claus gives his familiar wave.  But shoppers searching for another familiar Christmas favorite won't find it this year.

"A lot of people see the angel tree and it brings a lot of people joy to give," said Sgt. Brent Nevers of the Salvation Army.

Many remember the Salvation Army's Angel Tree from Christmas 2005, it's branches filled with the names of children or angels who wanted gifts for Christmas.

"The Angel Tree has been around for about 40 years. It started with the ingenuity of one Salvation Army Officer," said Nevers.

Now, the space where last year's tree sat is empty, replaced with an empty mall kiosk.  Sgt. Brent Nevers with the Salvation Army says it's because of the organization's partnership with the Marine Corps Toys For Tots Program.

"What we did was we combined our resources and manpower to merge into one program," said Nevers.

The one program makes it unnecessary to keep the tree in the mall.  Although the actual tree is missing, Sgt. Nevers says that's just physical. The spirit of giving is still there. You just have to use a different method.

"The Toys for Tots and the Marine Corps have distributed collection boxes all over Dougherty County so almost anywhere they go, they'll see a Toys For Tots donation receptacle," said Nevers.

It's a different method than many are used to but donors can rest assured that children will still get their wishes granted.

"If they contribute to Toys for Tots, they're helping the same folks that they helped last year with the Salvation Army Angel Tree," said Nevers.

While other trees still give signs of Christmas at the mall, the Angel Tree will now have to be a Christmas memory.

"Yes, it's another one of those iconic Salvation Army symbols that people associate with Christmas just like the Salvation Army kettle," said Nevers.

Bells will continue to ring.  However, angels getting their wings will now be done a little more quietly.

Last year, The Angel Tree Program helped about 700 families in the Southwest Georgia area.

Here's a list of the Toys For Tots donation locations:

Albany Lincoln Mercury 632 West Broad Ave Albany 31701 09:00 to 06:00
Albany Technical College 1704 S. Slappey Blvd. Albany 31707 08:00 to 18:00
Bank of America 2111 E. Oglethorpe Blvd Albany 31705 09:00 to 16:00
bealls outelt #410 2220 n slappy blvd albany 31701 09:00 to 09:00
bealls outlet #585 2707 dawson rd albany 31707 09:00 to 09:00
Boxers Restaurant & Lounge 2701 Dawson Rd Albany 31707 11:00 to 22:00
Dollar Tree 2841 Ledo Rd Albany 31707 09:00 to 21:00
Endz Meat 3312 Gillionville Rd. Albany 31721 09:00 to 07:00
Firestone Tire & Service Center 2530 Dawson Rd Albany 31707 08:00 to 19:00
Firestone Tire & Services Center 429 Oglethorpe Blvd Albany 31701 08:00 to 19:00
In Bound Gymnastics 1509 Camp Lane Albany 31707 12:00 to 20:00
Inspector-Instructor Staff 814 Radford Blvd., Bldg. 7122 Albany 31704 09:00 to 16:30
Johnny Carino's Italian 3007 Kensington CT Albany 31721 10:00 to 22:00
KMart 2525 Dawson Rd. Albany 31707 09:00 to 21:00
Mike's Country Store 1628 Philema Rd S Albany 31701 08:00 to 20:00
Motel 6 201 Thornton Dr Albany 31705 08:00 to 20:00
Movie Gallery #807 2418 Sylvester Rd. Albany 31705 10:00 to 10:00
Naval Branch Health Clinic 814 Radford Blvd MCLB Albany Albany 31705 08:00 to 16:00
TRI-RUNNING 627-A NORTH WWESTOVER BLVD ALBANY 31707 11:30 to 03:30
Movie Gallery #306 235 E. Washington Ave. Ashburn 31714 10:00 to 10:00
Goin' Postal Bainbridge 1408 Tallahassee Hwy Ste: L BAINBRIDGE 39819 09:00 to 06:00
The Book Nook 110 E. Broughton St., Downtown Bainbridge 39817 10:00 to 05:30
Movie Gallery #1214 415 Hwy 84 East Cairo 31728 10:00 to 10:00
Movie Gallery #80 75 E. Oakland Camilla 31730 10:00 to 10:00
Gwendolyn Wilkes Rainbow Center 2201 Buena Vista Road Columbus 31906 09:00 to 03:00
bealls outlet #141 1009 a-c-e 16th ave cordele 31015 09:00 to 09:00
bealls outlet #400 5165 mill store rd lake park 31636 09:00 to 09:00
Goin' Postal Leesburg 1584 U.S. Hwy 19 South Suite C Leesburg 31763 09:00 to 18:00
Movie Gallery #533 1545 US Hwy. 19 South Leesburg 31763 10:00 to 10:00
Curves 138 Mathewson Ave. Pelham 31779 08:00 to 07:00
Movie Gallery #2996 290 W. Railraod Suite A Pelham 31779 10:00 to 10:00
Movie Gallery #301 634 E. Franklin Sylvester 31791 10:00 to 10:00
The Medicine Shoppe 513 N Main Street Sylvester 31791 09:00 to 18:00
The Medicine Shoppe 513 N Main Street Sylvester 31791 09:00 to 18:00
Ameris Bank 2484 East Pinetree Blvd. Thomasville 31792 08:30 to 04:00
bealls outlet #203 15089 us hwy 19 s. thomasville 31792 09:00 to 09:00
Movie Gallery #3623 1428 Remington Blvd Thomasville 31792 10:00 to 11:00
Prestige Nissan, Inc. 1630 East Jackson Street Thomasville 31792 09:00 to 07:00
SOUTHERN STYLES 1425 E. JACKSON STREET THOMASVILLE 31792 09:00 to 07:00
bealls outlet #245 618 love ave tifton 31794 09:00 to 09:00
movie gallery #348 1805-d north titf ave. tifton 31794 10:00 to 10:00
bealls outlet #303 3200 n ashley st. #100 valdosta 31602 09:00 to 09:00
Georgia Military College 4201 North Forrest Street Valdosta 31605

08:00 to 05:00

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