Thousands of gifts handed out to Salvation Army Angel Tree recip - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Thousands of gifts handed out to Salvation Army Angel Tree recipients

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More than 2,500 families now have gifts to give their children thanks to the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program. Making sure all the angels in need receive their gifts wouldn't be possible without the help of volunteers from near and far.

Volunteers dressed in red aprons push carts around the South Austin warehouse moving toys to the front for families waiting to pick them up.

"There are volunteers from all over businesses, communities and everyone leaves with a fantastic feeling in their hearts they are hoping to make a difference and be a part," said Scarlet Hebert, a Salvation Army volunteer.

Volunteers like U.S. Marine Corps Captain Tommy Tellson and his girlfriend Amanda Hadnett, a corporal in the British Army.

"I'm not from Austin. My girlfriend came to visit me and we're traveling to Corpus Christi and thought we'd stop to do some volunteering," said Tellson. Tellson plans to attend graduate school in January.

"It's brilliant, just awesome to do around Christmas time. We don't have anything as big as this in the UK so it's special," said Hadnett.

What's special is the couple's store. They met while stationed in Afghanistan and just recently wrapped up their deployments.

"Whenever you're in Afghanistan you lose track of what you're fighting for. When you come back you get re-established and re-introduced to why you're fighting and why you're doing the things you do," said Tellson.

Passing through Austin, the couple says their time is no sacrifice especially around the holidays.

"I'm just showing her Texas generosity and the volunteer spirit of Texas so that's why we are here," said Tellson.

The Austin Salvation Army Angel Tree helped give away 6,700 gifts to 2,700 families.

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