WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB)– It seems as though Santa Claus has a South Pole workshop as well, and it is in South Walton.
The South Walton Fire District has partnered with the Care and Share Organization for the past 20 years hosting the Angel Tree.
For many Walton residents, the Angel Tree has become a holiday tradition. Just as it has for Bel Jackson, a young Walton County resident, and her family.
“I’ve been doing it all my life,” said Jackson.
The Angel Tree is comprised of names ranging from newborns to those nearing 16 or 17 years old from both North and South Walton.
“We love helping the community, and we play a big part during Christmas, well we like to think we play a big part during Christmas for all these kids that otherwise wouldn’t have had a Christmas,” said Sammy Sanchez SWFD Fire Marshall.
This year was different for Jackson and her family.
“This year, Bel was going through the cards, and she goes, mom look at this one,” said Bel’s mom Anya Jackso. “It says that a seven-month baby has outgrown its bassinet.”
“And we saw one that wanted a crib and a mattress, and we didn’t think that she should have to wait till Christmas to have a crib and a mattress,” said Jackson.
So Jackson and her mother went that same day to buy a crib. She said this year they received over 300 names, and they are almost out.
“We appreciate the folks that come back every year because now it is a tradition, and we certainly appreciate the folks that this is new to them and they are helping us support this and provide for children,” said Sanchez.
For Jackson’s family, the Angel Tree brings joy.
“To show our children that Santa is always there, but some parents don’t have funds and means to provide gifts for them so that is where we come in,” said Anya Jackson.
Sanchez said they anticipate doing the angel tree for years to come.
The Jackson family said they would continue to do this every year, to bring smiles to children’s faces all across Walton County.