Be an angel

North Platte supports others in the season of giving


Chloe Walchesky

The last angel on the angel tree at the Platte River mall.

Chloe Walchesky, Social Media Editor

Christmas trees decorated with white wish list angle-tags at the entrance of local stores like Bomgaars and The Mall have become part of North Platte’s holiday traditions. Organizations like The Salvation Army and Rape and Domestic Abuse Center (RDAP) want to make sure every child has a present under the tree. This year the coronavirus has increased the need for more children to receive a gift.

 Salvation Army Major Lynetta Poss said this year, the community rose to the challenge.  They met their goal of donors buying gifts for 271 North Platte children via the Angel Tree campaign.


Toys on display at the local Walmart in North Platte. (Sophia Walsh)

The Rape and Domestic Abuse program in North Platte also has a Christmas gift fundraiser.  Coordinator Amber Garza said they need more toy donations this year.  “Every year, needs for donation have been higher,” Garza said. 

 RDAP has been able to help support 62 children and parents this year. “It’s been awesome to help support this many families,” Garza said.

 Typically, children aged birth-12 years old request something like a small toy, coloring books and/or a pair of socks.  The Salvation Army recommends spending $50 or more per child. “The [Angel Tree] cards [were] all kept anonymous and only listed the age, gender and present request,” Poss said.

COVID and health guidelines have forced donors to give in new ways. Walmart offers an online registration much like one for a baby shower. According to the Salvation Army, the registry shows the toys,  books or other items needed. 

 Although the Angel Tree program is over, it’s not too late to make a difference for a child this Christmas.  Online and monetary donations are still being accepted. The Salvation Army accepts goods such as coats, jackets, furniture and toys. 

 Poss said they believe every child deserves to experience the joy of Christmas morning. “It’s a way for people in the community to help provide the less fortunate with Christmas presents,” she said.