CARNEGIE, Pa., Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- It's a Christmas tradition for many: taking a tag from a tree that lists a child's name and age in order to purchase a toy for the child for Christmas. Fulfilling the dream of a gift under the tree on Christmas morning for a child whose family can't afford one is a heartwarming gesture. This tradition has even become a teaching tool for many families who don't struggle financially. They use it to teach their own children that not everyone is as fortunate as they are and about the importance of "giving back".
The Salvation Army is blessed by many corporations and businesses that agree to place trees on site with "Treasures for Children" tags for their employees and/or customers to take to purchase toys, which they then collect for The Salvation Army to distribute. Over the past few years, however, the number of participating businesses has been dwindling. Unfortunately, the number of new businesses signing on has not been able to keep pace with the amount of attrition. Last year at this time over 15,000 tags were placed with 213 sponsors, compared with 150 sponsors / 13,000 tags thus far this season. The concern is that as the need grows, along with the decline in participants purchasing toys, The Salvation Army may struggle to provide toys for all of the families who need our help in the future. "We've had some small businesses that participated that have gone out of business, as well as larger businesses whose downsizing has caused them to withdraw from participation," said Major Laura Lyle, Program Secretary for The Salvation Army's Western Pennsylvania Division. "It would help tremendously if we could obtain some new sites in the Pittsburgh area to ensure that area children can continue to experience the joy of being given a Christmas to treasure." Businesses wishing to participate in The Salvation Army's Treasures for Children Program in Allegheny County can call Leah Cross, Treasures for Children Coordinator at 412.446.1534. Outside the county, please contact your local Salvation Army office. Individuals wishing to participate by taking a tag to purchase a gift for a child can find them in the Pittsburgh area at The US Steel Tower, Cynthia's Cards and Gifts in One Oxford Centre, or South Hills Village at Kinder Koalas to name a few of the public locations. More information, sign up forms for businesses, and the opportunity for individuals to make monetary online donations can be found by logging on to wpa.salvationarmy.org and clicking on the Treasures for Children link. Celebrating over 150 years as both a church and a social service organization, The Salvation Army began in London, England in 1865. Today, it provides critical services in 128 countries worldwide. The 28-county Western Pennsylvania Division serves thousands of needy families through a wide variety of support services. To learn more about The Salvation Army in Western Pennsylvania, log onto www.salvationarmy-wpa.org. The Salvation Army … Doing the most good . . . for the most people . . . in the most need. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110412/MM81995LOGO