Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Citizens National Bank helped the Salvation Army kick off the Angel Tree campaign at their Bonita Lakes Mall branch on Tuesday.
Majors Walter and Vikki Strong were on hand to speak on behalf of the Salvation Army.
The Majors said their office began taking applications for the Angel tree program around the first of October. They have more than 1,000 children who need adopting this year.
For many years, the bank has been partnering with The Salvation Army on a statewide basis to help local children in need to have a Merry Christmas.
“Our employees really look forward to the Angel Tree program each year," Brian Koroknay, manager of Citizens National Bank's Bonita Lakes Banking Centre said. “Many of our employees join together with their family and co-workers to adopt angels themselves. In 2011 alone, our Bank helped over 500 children in need to have a Merry Christmas through the Angel Tree program.
"We make it so convenient for people to help these local children,” Koroknay said.
To help one of these children, stop by the nearest Citizens National Bank location, take home an Angel nametag that includes the child's wish list of toys and their clothing sizes. While each nametag lists several items on the child’s wish list, a person can make a difference by simply buying a few of the items listed. When finished shopping, participants bring their unwrapped gifts back to Citizens National Bank by Friday, Dec. 14. The Bank will make sure gifts are delivered to The Salvation Army, who will distribute the gifts to the families of the local children, just in time for Christmas.
The Salvation Army also has an Angel Tree set up at Bonita Lakes Mall, near the entrance to JC Penney, where an Angel nametag may be picked up and the gift can be returned to the mall Angel Tree.
"We carefully screen all families who apply for assistance each year and make sure that a true need exists." Major Walter Strong said. “During the application process, we hear about a lot of family situations that really tug at our heart. Some of these parents have lost their job, some are unable to work due to illness, and many applicants are single mothers who are really struggling to make ends meet.
"These children are no different from our own children. They look forward to Christmas morning to find out what will be under their tree, and we believe every child should be given the same chance to enjoy this happiest time of year."
To learn more about Citizens National Bank's partnership with The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program, visit the website www.yourcnb.com/angeltree or call (601) 693-1331. Contact the local Salvation Army office at (601) 483-6156.