The Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania wants to ensure everyone feels the special magic surrounding the Christmas season. This is why The Salvation Army provides thousands of children and individuals with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, winter coats, clothing, and toys and gifts at this time of year. One of the programs we use to accomplish the giving of toys and gifts as well as providing hope andChristmas joy to individuals and families in need is the Treasures for Children program. After years of sharing the name Angel Tree with Prison Ministries and noticing an increasing number of groups in the area using that name as well, The Salvation Army leadership in this area sought out a way to set the program apart from the rest. The result was the Treasures for Children program, “Giving Children a Christmas to Treasure Since 2001”.
Through Treasures for Children, sponsors become personally involved because they know each tag represents a specific child in need. The Salvation Army is able to identify families in need of assistance through its Worship and Service Centers, Services Centers, Service Units and referrals from other community organizations. During Christmas Assistance sign-ups, a Salvation Army officer, case worker or trusted and trained volunteer interviews each parent/guardian to assess the needs of their family. The family must meet minimum poverty guidelines and the children range in age from birth up to and including 13 years of age. At this time it is also determined if the family qualifies for any other available programs. The Salvation Army maintains confidentiality of all participants.
In Allegheny County, Treasures for Children is handled through our Divisional Headquarters office located in Carnegie. This is done in order to pool our resources and serve as many as possible. As a result, we have hundreds of companies, small offices, organizations, churches and individual sponsors who are mailed each year and asked if they would like to participate in the program. Each participating sponsor has a representative on their end to facilitate communication. This individual organizes efforts at their location by choosing the amount of tags and serving as the point of contact for the program coordinator at The Salvation Army. Letters and forms for the program year are sent out in the middle to end of August and typically due back sometime in mid-October. All sponsors receive their tags at the end of October and it allows for approximately six weeks to shop for all items. Deadlines for donations (either dropped off by the sponsor or picked up by The Salvation Army) are given in the initial letter and form.
There are also numerous companies and organizations who assist by holding general toy drives at their business location(s) or during an annual Holiday party. These general (untagged) donations make it possible for us to fill the needs of families who come to us after tags have been sent to sponsors or those we don’t know about until right before Christmas.After receipt of all gifts, they are sorted and delivered directly to each of our Worship and Service Centers, Service Center and Service Units for their distribution to the families we serve. This program brings holiday joy to thousands of needy children during the Christmas Season all because of the hard work and generosity of our sponsors, willingness of our volunteers and dedication to constantly serve those in need as shown by our officers and employees.
For information on donating toys or gift items, please contact the Treasures for Children Coordinator, Leah Cross at (412) 446-1534 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. For financial donations, please see our donation page.
To find out if your family qualifies for assistance, please call (412) 446-1500 to be referred to The Salvation Army in your local community. The Salvation Army maintains confidentiality of all clients.