Salvation Army collecting gifts for teens, money today

NILES — The weather outside may be hot and humid, but the Salvation Army is celebrating Christmas in July in the food court concourse of the Eastwood Mall.

The organization set up its Angel Tree — normally used at Christmas time — in an early push for gifts for teenagers, which the Salvation Army said is the hardest age group to fulfill gifts for when their giveaways are held.

“The need (for teen gifts) is always there,” said Capt. Kiley Williams of the Warren Salvation Army. “Especially for the boys.”

Salvation Army volunteers will be at the mall noon to 5 p.m. today collecting teen gifts like headphones, body spray, nail polish and age-appropriate books. Their signature red kettles are also out for monetary donations, which will be saved for the purchase of Christmas gifts this winter.

The Angel Tree is a Christmas tree decorated with paper ornaments with gift ideas — including sizes and interests — for specific area children in need. Teen tags comprise one of the largest demographics on the tree during the Christmas season, and are often the last to be taken, according to Williams.

Shoppers are invited to take a tag off the tree or reference a list of teen-appropriate gifts and drop off purchased items at the Salvation Army table in the mall or at its building, 270 Franklin St. SE, Warren.

All gifts collected will be stored until Christmas distribution. Suggestions for teens include electric razors, drawing supplies, jewelry, bath and body toiletries, and games.

Williams said although the Salvation Army will be at the mall this weekend, gifts are welcome year-round.

“People can always drop off gifts,” she said.

Applications for Trumbull County families in need this Christmas will be accepted 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 7-10 at the Salvation Army of Warren building.

For assistance, families must have current photo IDs for adults in the home, proof of income for the past 30 days and proof of address. A full list of requirements can found at the Salvation Army’s table in the mall this weekend or by calling 330-392-1573.