Salvation Army hoping to receive $15K in donations to support smart lab for children for Giving Tuesday

This year for Giving Tuesday the Salvation Army of Northeast Florida is raising money for children in their care.

“We have an opportunity to have a smart lab for boys and girls that are at our Tower Center of Hope. And it’s a state-of-the-art educational program. We need about $15,000 more dollars in order to be able to fund that program,” Major Keath Biggers said.

The Jessie Ball DuPont Fund will match donations of up to $500 through the end of the year. Biggers, area commander for the Salvation Army of Northeast Florida, said they’ve already raised $35,000 for the smart lab.

“Any donation enables the Salvation Army to provide direct services to those in need in Jacksonville. Their donation will stay here locally. And the great thing is 82 cents of every dollar goes to those in need,” Biggers said.

While the Angel Tree isn’t the focus of Giving Tuesday for the Salvation Army. The charity is preparing for it as gifts are slowly piling up at the former JCPenney location at the Regency Square Mall for the Angel Tree. Each card laid across the floor represents a child who will have their Christmas wish fulfilled.

“It’s almost like a miracle when you come in here and there’s nothing here. And then within two or three weeks, you see it filling up,” Biggers said. “And then the day before it’s all full, ready to be given out the next day. And we get so many tears of happiness from the parents and the guardians that come through here to receive gifts for their children.”

Angels can be adopted at local Ashley Home Stores and the Avenues Mall. Gifts are due back to the Salvation Army by Dec. 8. The Jacksonville Jewish Family and Community Services is also doing a holiday gift-giving program for children and seniors. Learn more about that event, here.

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