Angel Tree Tradition Continues

By: Amanda Crawford Email
By: Amanda Crawford Email

The Salvation Army's Angel Tags are now hanging on Christmas Trees around Harrisonburg.

Each tag holds a child's Christmas list, and this year there are a record 1,950 tags in all.

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Harrisonburg has had an Angel Tree ever since Deacon Fred LaSpina started nearly 30 years ago.

"To me, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the giving tree," says LaSpina. "People look forward to it. In fact, if somebody doesn't get their angel, then they get mad at me. So, I have to call Salvation Army and get more."

Patty Huffman's family has taken tags from the church's tree every year since the program started.

"It was a nice teaching tool for me, as a parent, to have my children come to understand that they had so much, and there were others who didn't have much," says Huffman. "As adults now, they're still doing the same kinds of things. And that makes this mom happy."

In fact, Huffman says the Angel Tree is a seasonal reminder for the entire parish.

"It helps us, as a faith community, to focus on the fact that we are blessed," says Huffman. "You know, we really are blessed. And we're obligated. It's our charge to help those who have less."

The Salvation Army says every year there are a couple hundred tags leftover. Community members are welcome to drop toys off at the Salvation Army's church on Ashby Street. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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