Easter Egg Hunt/Easter Bunny Breakfast:  For donations!

 

Easter Hat Competition: Who can come up with the most unusual Easter Hat…flowers, healthy food, anything works.. Charge an entry fee… turn the selection party into an event, serve food.

 

Lunch Grillers: Deliver lunches to the businesses in town or just host for your own employees… Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Soup Days, Salad Days, Dessert Days, Ice Cream Sundae’s  …food is a big draw…

 

Ice Cream Socials:  These are great fun and inexpensive to host!

 

“Your OWN  Idol: Charge admission and entry fees and let the talent begin.

 

Car Washes never go out of style, and there is lots of pollen out there!

 

Yard Sales.  With beautiful weather, comes lots of people shopping! And lots of spring cleaning.

 

Bike Rodeo:  Big people get to ride their motorcycles… what about the kids?  Plan a bike ride in a neighborhood/park, or just a gathering for the young’ens.  Have a picnic lunch/dinner ; award prizes for best decorated bike; have a local bike shop or fire department come out and check bike safety; set up cones for ‘driving tests’; get creative!

 

Lemonade Stand:  Does your neighborhood have lots of yard sales?  Set up a lemonade stand… better yet, why not grill hot-dogs while you’re at it?

 

Yard Displays:  Place plastic pink flamingos, wooden cows, or any other item in the front yard or office of unsuspecting donors.  Request a donation to remove them, and additional donation for the homeowners to pick whose yard/office they are placed in next, and
another donation as “insurance” that they don’t wind up back in their yard again!

 

Neighborhood Block Party—the weather is nice, time for a party with all the neighbors and kids…pot-luck and each family makes a donation for what they would have spent going out.

 

Spring BOWS— make and sell Spring Bows for mailboxes and car antennas.  $5-$20 donation depending on the size of the BOW!!

 

 

 

  • Easter Egg Hunt/Easter Bunny Breakfast:  For donations!
  • Easter Hat Competition: Who can come up with the most unusual Easter Hat…flowers, healthy food, anything works.. Charge an entry fee… turn the selection party into an event, serve food.
  • Lunch Grillers: Deliver lunches to the businesses in town or just host for your own employees… Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Soup Days, Salad Days, Dessert Days, Ice Cream Sundae’s  …food is a big draw…
  • Ice Cream Socials:  These are great fun and inexpensive to host!
  • “Your OWN  Idol: Charge admission and entry fees and let the talent begin.
  • Car Washes never go out of style, and there is lots of pollen out there!
  • Yard Sales.  With beautiful weather, comes lots of people shopping! And lots of spring cleaning.
  • Bike Rodeo:  Big people get to ride their motorcycles… what about the kids?  Plan a bike ride in a neighborhood/park, or just a gathering for the young’ens.  Have a picnic lunch/dinner ; award prizes for best decorated bike; have a local bike shop or fire department come out and check bike safety; set up cones for ‘driving tests’; get creative!
  • Lemonade Stand:  Does your neighborhood have lots of yard sales?  Set up a lemonade stand… better yet, why not grill hot-dogs while you’re at it?
  • Yard Displays:  Place plastic pink flamingos, wooden cows, or any other item in the front yard or office of unsuspecting donors.  Request a donation to remove them, and additional donation for the homeowners to pick whose yard/office they are placed in next, and
    another donation as “insurance” that they don’t wind up back in their yard again!
  • Neighborhood Block Party—the weather is nice, time for a party with all the neighbors and kids…pot-luck and each family makes a donation for what they would have spent going out.
  • Spring BOWS— make and sell Spring Bows for mailboxes and car antennas.  $5-$20 donation depending on the size of the BOW!!
  • Host a Softball tournament between employees!
  • Cake Auction—for Easter or Mothers Day.  Have your best cooks make cakes and take bids.
  • Hero —have managers offer up a service and employees bid …such as a car wash, grass cutting, gutter cleaning….how much will you pay to see the Boss do chores?
  • Mail Letters—with a self addressed stamped envelope telling why you Walk.. they WILL return your letter with a donation.  This is the easiest way to raise your own $100.
  • Bouquet of Flowers:  Ask a local florist to donate a bouquet of flowers.  Employees/ friends make donations for a chance to win some “springtime” for their desk.
  • Fresh Fruit Fridays— Deliver fruit to office mates ahead of the weekend.  Take orders early in the week for all kinds of fresh fruit.  Add a delivery fee.
  • Company Relay Challenge— Two teams or more compete in a crazy relay
  • Take a Walk with an Executive— Staff pays for a chance to walk with a top executive at your company!
  • Dress down the week of Spring Break for $20 or whatever you decide!

 

 

 

People who come to The Salvation Army have a diverse set of backgrounds and reasons for needing services. Occasionally, The Salvation Army has the opportunity to give back to veterans who have given so much for our country. Esther, a participant in The Salvation Army’s Veteran Program, is a perfect example of the way homelessness can happen to anyone, often times by no fault of their own.IMG_2501

Esther found her sense of purpose in the military and was especially proud to serve during September 11th, when our nation needed her most. Later on in her service, Esther was unfortunately challenged by addiction and abuse from supervising officers. When Esther was honorably discharged from the military, she found herself homeless at the VA Hospital in Tampa. Due to limited resources for women and veterans, she feared she had nowhere to go.

Fortunately, the VA Hospital contacted The Salvation Army, and Esther was given a place to stay at the Red Shield Lodge. She had a bed to herself and a team of people ready to make her feel comfortable and valued. The Red Shield Lodge provided Esther with a safe space to reorganize herself before moving forward. After so much had happened to Esther so quickly, she was very thankful to have a quiet night in the Red Shield Lodge to regroup. The next morning, Esther met her case manager, Kathy, and took the first step towards independence.

Kathy was eager to support her in finding a plan of action that would best suit her. The Salvation Army allowed Esther to take the lead while providing useful resources to help her overcome her challenges. Esther was in charge of her own future; but The Salvation Army was there to help her every step of the way. She was able to acquire necessary information, such as an address, phone number, and proper identification, to re-establish her identity. It was not long before Esther was introduced to housing and schooling opportunities, and she could see her life coming together piece by piece.

After only a few months, Esther was back on her feet. She is now living in her own apartment while furthering her education and her recovery. All Esther needed was a boost from The Salvation Army to gain back her confidence. Now, Esther is thriving and excited for what her future holds. Esther feels thankful and appreciative of the help she received, and The Salvation Army also feels honored to have served her.

The Salvation Army meets wonderful people like Esther every day who simply need a boost. The Salvation Army and all of its services are aimed towards helping people see what they are capable of, and giving them the tools to reach their full potential. People affected by homelessness typically come to The Salvation Army after experiencing massive loss and trauma. The more they lose, the more hostility they face. The Salvation Army strives to break down negative perceptions of homelessness, and treat their participants with every bit of respect as they would a friend. The Salvation Army proves that when they are met with compassion and support, there are no limits to what they can accomplish.

During National Salvation Army Week, The Salvation Army in Hillsborough County will highlight the realities of homelessness in our community. Homelessness is commonly perceived as people standing at busy intersections holding signs, or people approaching others outside shopping plazas asking for just enough money to make it to the other side of town. This image of homelessness leads to skepticism about homelessness as a whole. While most people want to help those at busy intersections, we never really know how our help will be received.

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Todd Quick, Intake Coordinator at The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC), is a hard working resident of the Tampa Bay area and currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida. Todd is the leader of the ARC band, and a member of The Salvation Army Florida Divisional Band. Fueled by the support of his wife, The Salvation Army, and the love of God, Todd is driven and excited about his future.

 

Six years ago, Todd was a completely different man.

 

Todd grew up in a small town in South Carolina and lived a fairly normal childhood. Around the age of 15, he began smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol, as many teenagers do. At the time, Todd’s habits seemed normal and common amongst his peers; however, he took these habits to an extreme. Todd quit high school, and his interest in marijuana led to experimentation with other more expensive and dangerous drugs. At 20 years old, Todd was arrested on multiple charges of possession. His parents bailed him out, but he violated his probation and was sentenced to three months in prison and a 30-day drug rehabilitation program. After his first rehab experience, Todd began a vicious cycle of recovery and relapse that lasted roughly five years.

Todd knew how to recover, but had trouble following through with his actions. Eventually his family stopped speaking to him and he had no support system or place to call home. He relocated multiple times as he moved in and out of rehab centers and halfway houses until he hit rock bottom standing outside The Salvation Army Red Shield Lodge in Tampa, Florida.

With only a khaki jacket on his back and all of his belongings in a Publix bag, Todd had nothing to do but lie down and wait to check in to the Red Shield Lodge. Todd vividly remembers lying on the sidewalk with his head on his bag thinking to himself, “This is not me.” There had been many moments prior when Todd realized he needed to turn his life around, but this one hit him hardest. He knew there was more to him than his addiction, and he was finally ready to take the necessary steps. The Red Shield Lodge gave Todd a bed for 18 days while he moved up the wait list for the Adult Rehabilitation Center. Having a safe place to stay was the first step of many in Todd’s recovery process, but it gave him a sense of hope and motivation he had been missing for years.

Todd was admitted into The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center on February 28, 2012 and has been completely sober ever since. He even stopped smoking cigarettes. After about eight months Todd graduated from the program and was given a job driving a truck for the ARC. He drove for two years before moving into the office where he worked helping people in the program get social security cards, valid identification, prescriptions, and anything else they might need to get back on their feet. After about a year Todd became the Intake Coordinator, and has held the position since. This October, Todd will celebrate his fifth anniversary of being employed by The Salvation Army. Because Todd’s addiction always prevented him from keeping jobs, this anniversary feels monumental.

The Salvation Army gave Todd a jump-start to a new life. He is now a happily married homeowner with a strong group of friends and a bright future ahead of him. A recent graduate of Hillsborough Community College, Todd is poised to enter the University of South Florida to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He has reconnected with his family, who came back to him very quickly when his addiction improved. Now that Todd has built a life for himself, he is able to look back on his experience with a sense of gratitude and humility.

Today, Todd gives back to the ARC through more than just employment. As the leader of the band at the ARC, he gives others a chance to use contemporary praise and worship music as a form of therapy. Todd claims playing in the band gives others a boost of confidence that can be crucial to their healing experience, while also bringing them closer to God. The Salvation Army allowed Todd to find Christ, which is an aspect he felt he had been missing for so long. “You have to put in a lot of work and trust in God to stay sober,” said Todd. “It’s amazing when you let God start working in your life.”

When he thinks back to where he was six years ago, he can barely believe how far he has come in such a short amount of time. Todd is a firm believer that nobody can understand an addict better than another addict, which is why he feels the ARC is so successful. The ARC is very community driven and focuses on creating an environment of encouragement and inspiration. Todd looks to his supervisors, who have been sober longer than he has, and knows he can follow in their footsteps. At the same time, Todd looks forward to lending a helping hand to those coming into the ARC who may be following in his footsteps.

The Salvation Army opens its arms to people of all backgrounds, in all stages of addiction. Doctors, lawyers, and people from all walks of life have come through the ARC. “Addiction has no boundaries,” said Todd, explaining how even the most successful people can struggle with addiction. “It’s never too early and never too late to get better.”

In six short years, Todd’s life was turned completely around with the guidance of The Salvation Army. Now, the ARC is very lucky to have Todd as such an honest advocate for those struggling with addiction. Each day, Todd continues to positively impact the lives of others and give them a chance to succeed, just like the chance he was given by The Salvation Army. With the armory of love and support Todd has now, there is no telling how much he’ll accomplish in the next six years.

 

 

 

On December 1st, 2000, Hilda Ramos went to The Salvation Army in Riverview looking for work. Money was tight around the holidays, so she and her husband decided the family would benefit if she found temporary work. As soon as Hilda arrived, she was welcomed with open arms and given a job as a bell ringer. A few weeks later, on December 17th, Hilda and the other bell ringers were invited to a Christmas party hosted by The Salvation Army church. She was immediately welcomed into the church community and has gone back with her family every Sunday since.

When Hilda and her husband traveled from Mexico to the United States in 1995, they were chasing the American Dream. When they arrived, they began working for a farm picking tomatoes. The work was tough, but they had aspirations of building a better life for their family, and that motivated them to keep working.

With the help of The Salvation Army, the Ramos family reached a place of financial stability where they were able to shift their focus to helping others. Now, Hilda keeps records for the Women’s Ministry, and her daughter Leslie works at the front office as a secretary.

The Salvation Army reintroduced God to the Ramos family in a way they had never experienced. They now welcome Jesus into every part of their lives, just as they were welcomed into the church community. The Ramos family did not always have an abundance of material possessions, but they were never lacking spiritually. Having such a strong spiritual presence inspired the Ramos’ to give back to their community and help others in need. The more they worked with The Salvation Army, the more they felt their own needs shrink in significance.

With Jesus in their lives, the Ramos’ are empowered to do good for other people. In the past, Hilda came to The Salvation Army to get food and clothes for her children; she is now distributing those goods to other people in need. The Ramos’ believe there is always something to do for others, and they are determined to spread the message of The Salvation Army church by putting others before themselves.

Leslie, who was born shortly after Hilda and her husband arrived in the U.S., is thankful that she grew up in The Salvation Army community. As she gets older, she feels more empowered by Jesus to help others. Working in the front office, Leslie sees many of the people who come to The Salvation Army for help. Riverview has a large Hispanic population, with many migrant workers, who often find themselves at The Salvation Army just as Hilda and her husband did 17 years ago. Leslie, her mother, and the rest of the Ramos family are sure to welcome all those coming. They are always looking to make their Salvation Army family bigger, to help even more people.

By now, some of the Ramos children have grown older and moved away; however, they still see The Salvation Army as their church and home. Hilda believes The Salvation Army will always be their church, and she will look for it everywhere she goes. Hilda and her husband came to The United States with the goal of giving their family a better life, and they succeeded with the help of The Salvation Army. Their children will now be able to keep spreading the teachings of kindness and generosity, and help others find the same sense of love and joy that has changed them for the better.

While The Salvation Army has a strong presence in the homeless community, the organization is devoted to meeting the needs of more than just those without a home. The Salvation Army provides multiple resources for families to make sure children are growing up with the tools they need to build a bright future. Throughout the week, there are various classes and activities in place to support and empower the members of the community.

For many children in the Tampa Bay area, there are few safe and affordable after school activities. When the school day is over, some children go home and have nothing to do. The Salvation Army provides a safe environment for children to keep learning even after school has ended. The Salvation Army offers Sunday School and worship Services at various times during the week for children to learn about God and grow their faith. Along with classes centered on faith formation, The Salvation Army also offers other activities, such as sports, a youth band, and scouting programs to help children build character and skills they can use as they grow older.

The Salvation Army understands the importance of supportive parents to a child’s future, so classes for parents are also offered. There are groups for single parents, men, and women, and there are open gym hours for adults to exercise. Bible Study classes are offered for adults, and there are even sessions taught in Spanish.

Jeager and Somora are a mother-daughter duo who have found their place with The Salvation Army.  When Jeager started attending women’s groups, it didn’t take long for her to feel connected to others in her community. The Salvation Army offered Jeager the opportunity to confide in other women and feel a sense of support while she navigated motherhood.

Somora has participated in all sorts of groups and activities with The Salvation Army. She loves playing games, making friends, and learning about Jesus. Somora considers her friends at The Salvation Army to be like family. Her confidence has grown tremendously since she has started participating in the activities, and she enjoys having friends at The Salvation Arm with similar interests. Somora enjoys her worship classes and is learning songs and dances to perform on stage on Sundays. When the children perform on Sundays, they are able to bond with each other while also connecting with the rest of the congregation.

Donors are essential to the success of The Salvation Army. Through their generosity, the members of the community are able to better themselves in ways that expand outside of the Tampa Bay Area. After participating in women’s groups, Jeager had the opportunity to attend a Women’s conference. Because of the generous support of sponsors, she attended the conference and learned skills she will be able to incorporate into every aspect of her life. Every day, Jeager feels empowered and capable to better her life with Somora.

Donors also assist The Salvation Army in providing necessities for children, such as school supplies and suitcases. Children are able to learn and grow much more effectively when they are not concerned with having the appropriate materials. Along with providing backpacks and supplies during school, The Salvation Army hosts summer camps to continue their learning when school is not in session.

This year, Somora was able to attend a summer camp because The Salvation Army provides accommodations. Most summer camps are expensive, and exclude children who’s families cannot afford to provide materials or pay camp fees. The Salvation Army provides affordable camps so more children can gain valuable experiences year round. This year, Somora was able to attend summer camp with the help of The Salvation Army. At camp, Somora learned valuable lessons and made even more friends.

Jeager and Somora feel loved and included by The Salvation Army, as do others in the community. While The Salvation Army is founded on religious beliefs, their service goes far beyond religion. By providing valuable resources and unwavering support and empowerment, The Salvation Army is able to make a lasting impact on many lives in the Tampa Bay area.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Wonetha Hall
Public/Media Relations
Office: 813.224.9207
Cell: 248.802.9843
wonetha_hall@uss.salvationarmy.org

The New York Yankees and community come together to help children in need before school begins August 10.

 

Tampa, Florida (August 5, 2016) — The Salvation Army in Hillsborough County to offer families, who obtain prior eligibility, the opportunity to receive a new backpack filled with school supplies for their elementary, middle and high school-aged children, Friday, August 5, 2016, at The Salvation Army Worship Center, 1100 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa, FL from 9 am-3 pm.

 

The Salvation Army’s long-standing partner The New York Yankees generously donated new backpacks to give to children, along with the donations from the community allowed us to fill more than 600 backpacks to give to families in need in Hillsborough County.

 

“We have a long-standing partnership with the New York Yankees organization. Their support allows us to give brand-new backpacks to area students who are in need,” said The Salvation Army Tampa Area Commander Captain Andrew Miller.

We understand how important it is for children to have the school supplies they need to succeed in the classroom.”

 

To obtain eligibility for back-to-school backpacks and supplies, please call The Salvation Army Tampa offices Monday-Friday from 9am-3 pm by August 4. For more information on our 2016 Back-To-School Drive, contact Wonetha Hall at 813-224-9207

 

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About The Salvation Army in Tampa

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 150 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information on the Tampa Area Command, go to www.salvationarmytampa.org.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Media Contact:

Wonetha Hall
Public Relations Coordinator
Salvation Army Tampa Area Command
Phone number (248) 802-9843
Wonetha.Hall@uss.salvationarmy.org

 

“CHRISTMAS IN JULY” HAPPENING AT AMALIE ARENA SATURDAY, JULY 16, 2016 AT THE TAMPA BAY STORM –VS- PHILADELPHIA SOUL GAME TO BENEFIT
THE SALVATION ARMY

Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the game to help make the spirit of Christmas a reality for children and families in need.

 

 

TAMPA, Fla. (July 16, 2016) – It’s hard to think of “Christmas” in July but that’s exactly what the Salvation Army and Tampa Bay Storm want you to do on Saturday, July 16th! Fans donating a new, unwrapped toy at the Tampa Bay Storm vs. Philadelphia Souls game will receive a free ticket to the game! That’s right! The Storm will give away 1 ticket per toy donated! (Maximum of 4 tickets per person)

 

Why now? The Salvation Army needs your help! This head-start will allow the registration of more needy families for the Angel Tree program. Each Christmas, the Salvation Army provides over 17,000 toys to needy children across the Tampa Bay area.  This volunteer – led tradition has been serving our community for over 37 years. Toys donated in July will make it possible for The Salvation Army to add more families to the Angel Tree registry in the coming months.

 

The TB Storm, CHASE and ABC Action News are hosting the toy drive during the pre-game party on the plaza of Amalie Arena! Local celebrities will be on-site collecting the toys for the Salvation Army and distributing game tickets to donating fans!  Big surprises are also planned during the game!  Bring the entire family for an unforgettable afternoon!

“There is no better gift than the one that is given from the heart” said Tampa Area Commander Captain Dr. Andrew Miller.  “By faith we believe in what is not seen, and by choice we act on this faith by helping our neighbors in need and building a stronger, more compassionate community.”

 

“For more than 20 years, viewers and employees at ABC Action News have adopted angels” said Director of Community Affairs Lissette Campos. “To see a child ask for bed sheets, along with a toy is a wake-up call.  Without Angel Tree, these children would have nothing on Christmas morning.”

 

To learn more about the Salvation Army Tampa Area Command Angel Tree program, please contact our Angel Tree Coordinator, Jessica Vick at 813-549-0636.

 

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About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 150 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information on the Tampa Area Command, go to www.salvationarmytampa.org.

THE SALVATION ARMY TO KICK OFF 125TH  RED KETTLE CAMPAIGN ON NOVEMBER 21

Former Lightning player to present ceremonial first donation to The Salvation Army in Tampa Bay Area before game

 

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 21, 2015) – The true impact of giving is unmeasurable. Families who struggle to meet the financial day-to-day demands question how they might provide a gift for their children on Christmas Day. Thousands of individuals, families and children are leaning on The Salvation Army in the Tampa Bay Area, serving Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, for assistance during the holiday season. The Salvation Army will partner with the Tampa Bay Lighting, Saturday, Nov. 21,  at the Amalie Arena, for its annual Kettle Kickoff, helping to raise awareness of people in need during the Christmas season.

 

The Red Kettle Campaign started November 13 in the Tampa Bay Area and runs through Christmas Eve. It is the largest and longest-running fundraiser of its kind. The money raised impacts the lives of more than 250,000 individuals, families and children in the Tampa Bay Area by providing meals, shelter, clothing and holiday assistance, in addition to numerous other social services programs year-round such as substance abuse programs, shelter and counseling for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, and military veteran assistance.

 

The event from 5 to 7 p.m. promises to be an evening of fun and giveaways for local families. The Salvation Army’s “Captain Kettle” will be present for fun and games before heading into the game to ride the Zamboni. Star Wars characters will also interact with fans prior to the game. Attendees can donate at kettles located throughout Ford Alley. The ceremonial first donation by a former Tampa Bay Lightning player will kick off the Red Kettle Campaign at approximately 6:30 p.m.

 

“The Salvation Army is thankful for the partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Our hope, with the help of the Lightning, is to help families and individuals in need throughout Tampa Bay during the holidays and year-round,” said Major James Hall, area commander of The Salvation Army in Tampa. “We want to make sure everyone knows that if they are in need, we are here to help.”

 

From its humble beginnings in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable campaigns in the United States. More than 25,000 Salvation Army volunteers throughout the country ring bells and solicit donations to the Red Kettles.

 

Groups may adopt a kettle site during the holiday season and volunteer to ring the bell at that location. For more information on The Salvation Army’s programs and services throughout the Bay Area, and to sign-up to volunteer, visit salvationarmytampabay.org.

 

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About The Salvation Army of Tampa Bay

For the last 122 years, The Salvation Army has had a life-changing impact in the Tampa Bay community. In the last year, approximately 150,000 nights of shelter were provided and more than 140,000 meals were served to men, women and children in Tampa Bay. Nearly 17,000 children living in poverty received gifts and toys through the Angel Tree Program, and more than 10,000 people were visited in hospitals, nursing homes and elderly residential homes. For more information, please visit www.SalvationArmyTampaBay.org.