Christmas may be a week away, but today is Christmas Eve for the Salvation Army. They are working to fill Christmas wishes for 7,000 kids by midnight tonight. But there are still 642 "lost angels." People picked up the angels and never returned with gifts.
"We found ourselves in quite a bind trying to find out how we would provide gifts for those 700 angels," said Major James Taylor with the Salvation Army. "We put out a media alert and a social media alert, and I'll tell you, Tulsa really came through."
Tulsans brought toy and monetary donations. Then on Saturday, a Christmas miracle happened. An anonymous donor dropped a gold coin, wrapped in a two-dollar bill, and put it in a Salvation Army kettle. The coin is valued at $1,700. Tulsa Gold and Silver matched the donation, giving the Salvation Army an extra $3,400 to help pay for presents for the remaining angels.
"We took a team of five people out, and we hit Wal-Mart," said Major April Taylor of the Salvation Army. "We were pulling everything we could find that kids are asking for this year and what we thought would be the best to help them."
In the next few hours, volunteers will finish packing gift bags. Wednesday through Saturday, more than 3,000 families will pick up the gifts for Christmas.
The toy donation cutoff is today. People still wanting to help the Salvation Army can donate through the kettle drive or volunteer this evening to help bag gifts for distribution tomorrow. To volunteer, the Salvation Army Command Center is at 924 S. Hudson Street.
For the last 15 years, someone has dropped a gold coin in a Salvation Army kettle.