The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree

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It’s nice to buy gifts for those we know and love, but at this time of year, it’s important to extend that giving spirit to those in need — many of whom we may never meet or know of the circumstances that made them fall into tough times.

Black Friday may have officially kicked off shopping for the holiday season, but there are people who don’t even have the means to go to Walmart to fight for crazy bargains. As you shop this year, you can do good for someone else, and The Salvation Army has made it easy for you with their annual Angel Tree.

I visited with Laura Kay Rand (@Lkrand) of The Salvation Army to find out how to help out.

Located in Pearlridge Center, Kahala Mall and Windward Mall, the Angel Trees have tags marked with names and the gift wish of children or seniors around Oahu. You simply pull a tag, register it with a volunteer, then buy the item that is listed (hey, you’re already at the mall anyway, right?). Don’t even wrap it — just bring it back to the Angel Tree, and your deed is done. Remember, these are gifts, so it’s gotta be new and unused. Turn it in by Dec. 19 so The Salvation Army can get their anticipated 4,000 gifts out by Christmas.

The Salvation Army Angel Tree

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I went to Pearlridge (uptown near Farrell's) and scoped out the tree for tags. —Photo by Russ Sumida

If you have any questions about the Angel Tree, being a volunteer, how to find a bell ringer, or donating, just contact The Salvation Army at 808-682-5505,, tweet them at @KrocCenterHI, or message them on Facebook. In fact, if you would like to volunteer for the Angel Tree or any other holiday activities, they’ll gladly accept your help. The Timson and Smith families, below, have brought their entire ohana to volunteer at Pearlridge every year for many years.

Have a wonderful holiday season, and here’s hoping you can brighten the day of a needy child or senior!