The Salvation Army and United Way combine the Angel Tree Program and United Christmas Service

The Salvation Army will run the expanded program as Angel Tree


INDIANAPOLIS, August 16, 2018 — The Salvation Army Indiana Division and United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) today announced plans to expand its Angel Tree initiative by adopting United Christmas Service, United Way’s long-running holiday assistance effort. Beginning this holiday season, the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program will fulfill the wishes and basic needs of children in the Indianapolis area who have previously been served by United Christmas Service.


“The Salvation Army is proud to inherit the United Christmas Service and is committed to continuing its long legacy of meeting basic needs and mobilizing our community for good during the holiday season,” said Major Robert A. Webster, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Indiana Division. “The Angel Tree program connects people who want to have a tangible, meaningful impact during the holiday season with the wishes and needs of children in our community who need help the most. And it empowers parents to help make their child’s Christmas bright, even if they can’t afford to do so themselves. The result is a powerful, personal experience for both the giver and the receiver.”


Angel Tree is a national Salvation Army program that has put new clothes and toys, as well as basic needs like diapers and shoes, under the tree for more than 1 million children across the U.S. each holiday season. In 2017, Angel Tree served more than 2,600 children in Central Indiana.


The Angel Tree initiative works like this: Donors visit an Angel Tree location in the community and select a paper angel that represents a real “Angel” – a child in need. The paper angel lists that child’s wants, like toys or games, and needs, like winter boots or underwear. The donor “adopts” the Angel and shops for items specific to the child, filling a special Angel Tree bag with gifts to make Christmas morning extra special. The Salvation Army collects the items at Angel Tree locations and delivers them to families just in time for Christmas.


Angel Tree assistance is available to Indianapolis area families with children ages 0-12 whose income falls below the 2018 United States Poverty Guidelines. Applications will be accepted from October 22 to November 2, 2018. Eligible families can submit their application by visiting:


  • The Salvation Army Eagle Creek Corps Community Center, 4400 North High School Road, Indianapolis, IN 46254; and
  • The Salvation Army Fountain Square Corps Community Center, 1337 Shelby Street, Indianapolis, IN 46203.


Effective immediately, families who have been previously served by United Christmas Service or who would have been eligible for United Christmas Service assistance will be referred by trained caseworkers from United Way partner organizations to The Salvation Army or 211. As part of the transition, Salvation Army will also launch a holiday hotline in late September for families in need of assistance this year.



The success of this expanded Angel Tree program is dependent upon community support from both the donors who adopt Angels and those who have traditionally made contributions to United Christmas Service a part of their holiday giving. United Way and The Salvation Army hope that these generous donors will continue to help local families this holiday season by giving through Angel Tree and ensuring that every child in the program can be served. Donations to Angel Tree can be made here.


“We are thrilled that the mission of the United Christmas Service will live on through The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program,” said Ann D. Murtlow, president and CEO, UWCI. “While this streamlined effort will help grow the Angel Tree program, we realize that there are still many kids, families, and individuals in Central Indiana who will need our help throughout the course of the year. We encourage all who anticipate needing support this holiday season to contact 211, and we invite donors to connect with United Way to determine the most impactful way to connect them with the causes to which their hearts call them.”





About United Way of Central Indiana


United Way of Central Indiana fights for the education, financial stability, health and basic needs of all people in Central Indiana by creating, managing and investing resources in sustainable solutions to our communities’ most stubborn barriers to self-sufficiency. United Way invites all members of our community to LIVE UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering to improve lives in Central Indiana. Visit to learn more.


About The Salvation Army


The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a broad array of social services that include providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 5,000 communities nationwide.