Sunday, November 28, 2010

Birmingham-area children's wishes on Salvation Army's Angel Tree getting granted slowly

Published: Saturday, November 27, 2010, 1:00 PM
A frilly gray and multi-colored striped pants suit and light blue and indigo jeans were just a few of the items that Libby Kiyak plucked from the children's section in Belk on Friday.

Kiyak, who normally shops at Walmart on the busy shopping day, stopped at Colonial Brookwood Village with a goal to fulfill a child's wishes on the Salvation Army's Angel Tree. Her shopping excursions will mean a 5-year-old girl with special needs will have gifts to open this Christmas.

"This'll be cute," she said eyeing her choices. "Now, I need some pajamas. Everybody needs a nice warm pair of pajamas."

A pink flannel set decorated with gingerbread characters and candy canes caught her eye.

"Oh yeah, that's real cute," she said.

"Another thing that I like is this gives me a chance to shop for girls. That's something I never get a chance to do," she said pointing out she has sons. "The girls' clothes are a lot cuter than the boys."

Kiyak said her shopping will continue next week, but she will have a little help from her boys.

"I told them I want them to go shopping with me," she said. They will shop for the family's angel using their own allowances. "I think it hits home with them more rather than if I just pick things up for them. They want to do that. They want to help."

Kiyak is among what Salvation Army volunteers at the mall said is a smaller amount of Angel Tree participants Friday at the mall.

By afternoon, tables at the Fox 6 Gifts for Kids Salvation Army Angel Tree at Colonial Brookwood Village were still stacked with unclaimed cards bearing the names of Angels yet to be adopted. The Christmas trees beside them remained crowded with Angel Tree tags waiting for shoppers' hands to pick them and fill the wishes written on their cards.

"It's been very slow," said Doris Adamson, a member of the Salvation Army Auxiliary who was volunteering at one of the tables. "Unless it's the weather or the (Iron Bowl) game, I'm not sure what it is."

Despite the slower crowd, Kiyak said she is glad to help.

"It's just fun to know that you're going to be a part of someone's holiday," Kiyak said. "I hate the thought that a child may not have a Christmas."

Kiyak said she has considered helping out at the Angel Tree tables.

"That way, not only can you buy things, you can volunteer your time," she said.

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