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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The 2017 Salvation Army’s Angel Tree campaign began Saturday at the Shoppes at River Crossing.

The kick-off was held in conjunction with the outdoor mall’s annual Christmas tree lighting, which lit the massive spruce with the help of a countdown by old St. Nick himself.

Afterward, children were able to visit with Santa Claus… and Mrs. Claus, too… to ask for presents to fill the space underneath their own trees at home.

However, for some children, getting a gift for the holidays won’t be so easy. 1,160 to be precise, according to Salvation Army Major Frances Gilliam.

“Each of these kids want to have a Christmas,” she said. “Who want to be able to wake up on Christmas morning and open up gifts like every other child does. It’s a great opportunity for the community to come and support that, and make these children’s wish come true.”

Each angel on the tree will have the child’s name, age, clothing size and wish list. Once you buy gifts for him or her, return to the tree and donate them to the Salvation Army and they will make sure they reach that particular child in time for Christmas.

Anyone who wishes to adopt an angel can stop by the Salvation Army’s booth located at the center of the Shoppes right next to that towering Christmas tree, Monday through Saturday 10am until 7pm, and on Sunday from 1pm until 5pm.

The final day to help is Tuesday, December 12th.

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