Indian River County families must register by Oct. 13 with Salvation Army for Christmas gifts

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Some families may need a little support this holiday season to provide Christmas for their kids, and the Salvation Army of Indian River County is trying to help.

The Salvation Army hoped to serve more than 500 children this year but Hurricane Ian has thrown a monkey wrench into registrations, with only 115 families signed up so far.

“We want to make sure that every child receives a toy for Christmas,” said Capt. Niuris Garcia, who is heading up the Angel Tree campaign in Indian River County. “Hurricane Ian has affected so many people and the need to help families around the holidays will be so great.”

Registrations for Indian River County are down so the Salvation Army is extending the deadline to sign up for the Angel Tree program until Oct. 13.

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Jessica Armstrong at the Angel Tree.
Jessica Armstrong at the Angel Tree.

Parents can sign up their children Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in person at the Salvation Army, 2655 5th St. SW in Vero Beach. There is also an option to register online at

Parents must submit proof of residency; a photo ID for the head of the household; birth certificates for their children 12 and under; and proof of income when they register for the Angel Tree program. Gifts will be distributed on Dec. 16 at a pre-arranged appointment time.

The Angel Tree program is also available for senior citizens. Seniors 65 and over are encouraged to sign up for the program to receive a gift at holiday time.

Garcia said there are a lot of families in Indian River County who are struggling to pay their bills and without the Salvation Army’s help, there would be no way they would enjoy Christmas.

“The hurricane has affected so many people,” said Garcia. “And everything is getting  much more expensive. People may have to choose between paying bills, buying food and putting gas in their cars. The last thing they are thinking about is buying toys.”

The Salvation Army Angel Tree is a needs-based program meant to serve the neediest families during the Christmas season. Families who struggle month to month, have recently lost work or who are undergoing an emergency need of some kind can get help through the Salvation Army. For more information, call (772) 978-0265.

Janet Begley is a local freelance writer for If you like articles like this and other TCPalm coverage of Treasure Coast news, please support our journalism and subscribe.

This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Angel Tree Program needs more families to register for this holiday season