CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- October hasn't even arrived, and the phones are ringing at the Salvation Army's headquarters on Tennessee Avenue in Charleston.
Jessica Eads, executive assistant for the Salvation Army's Charleston Area Command, said needy families are already calling to find out when they can sign up for the annual Angel Tree program.
The Angel Tree program exists to help provide Christmas gifts for children who might not otherwise receive anything on Dec. 25.
Parents sign their children up for the program, and their names are written on the back of little paper angels, along with the kinds of toys they'd like to get for Christmas. The angels are then hung on a big Christmas tree at Charleston Town Center Mall.
Local citizens then take the angels and agree to buy the toys for the children. Eads said the Angel Tree will go up this year on Nov. 8.
Salvation Army volunteers expect more children than ever to sign up this year.
"The economy is bad," she said. "Every year, more and more people come to us for help."