Story and photos by Jan Osborn.
Judi Lalla has been working the Salvation Army Angel Tree at NorthPark Center for the past 16 years, a tradition in the North Texas area that stretches back to 1984. This year, the Angel Tree program will serve more than 45,000 children in North Texas. NorthPark Center has graciously given space for the Angel Tree since its inception. The NorthPark Angel Tree serves more children than any other site in the DFW area.
Judi Lalla has been working the Salvation Army Angel Tree at NorthPark for the past 16 years, a tradition in the North Texas area that stretches back to 1984. This year, the Angel Tree program will serve more than 45,000 children in North Texas. NorthPark has graciously given space for the Angel Tree since its inception. The NorthPark Angel Tree serves more children than any other site in the DFW area.
Due to the late timing of Thanksgiving this year, the Angel Tree at NorthPark still has 1,000 children that need to be adopted before the mall closes tonight, Friday, December 6.
Judi said that the Angel Tree would not be successful without the great volunteers who show up each year to give their time. Judi gave a special shoutout to the Baylor Nursing Students. She said that they always get right to work and don’t have to be told twice how it should be done.
Judi says that her favorite part of working the Angel Tree is the good feeling you get at Christmas knowing that you make the kids so happy. Judi also loves telling some of her most special memories. One of the guys who volunteers with Judi every year does so because he was one of the kids who received Christmas gifts from the Salvation Army after his dad left his mom and family. He returns to the Angel Tree each year to work to show his appreciation for the gifts he received as a child.
Bobbie Scott, Corporate Office Manager for MV Transportation, Inc. dropped off containers full of toys. Her company adopted 40 kids and fulfilled everything on the children’s lists amounting to over $5000.
Christening Webb stopped by the Angel Tree four times to adopt kids. Being a former recipient of the Salvation Army Angel Tree, Christening believes in paying it forward and giving back to the organizations that so generously supported her as a child.
Zane Dumas, a J.L. Long Middle School student, worked with her mom, Laura Dumas, to earn volunteer hours.
Kissy Blanchat and Rula Peinado working a shift at the Angel Tree.
Paula Hayes and Cathy MacDowell checking in gifts for Angel Tree recipients. Paula invited friends from her tennis team to join her in volunteering seven years ago. Paula said that the group had so much fun that we add it to our calendar every year.
Martha Johnston joyfully packaging the gifts to be transported to the Salvation Army Headquarters.
As Dallas Doing Good was leaving NorthPark, we caught Santa writing in his journal. We feel certain he was adding Judi and all the angels who help to the “Nice” list.