General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant employees will be angels this Christmas to more than 130 children in the county.
"We adopted one batch of angels and then went and adopted some more because the interest was so high," plant manager Dave Tatman said.
Tatman said both management and UAW employees adopted the angels, whose gifts were presented Monday to The Salvation Army, which has the Angel Tree program.
While all of the 3,000 angels on angel trees were adopted, about 25 percent of the gifts still had not come in Monday, according to Maj. Carla Binnix of The Salvation Army.
Binnix said those who have adopted angels still can return their gifts to Greenwood Mall or The Salvation Army at 400 W. Main Ave.
But for those "forgotten" angels, there still is hope, thanks to donations from sponsors such as GM, Binnix said.
Tatman gave The Salvation Army $3,000 from GM on behalf of the Bowling Green plant and its employees. In late November, GM also donated $3,000 to the Teen Angel program.
Employees, who have been working lots of overtime since July getting ready for production of the C-7 Corvette, were more generous.
"Last year, we adopted 110 angels," Tatman said. "And this year, we have 130."
While most of the toys were already loaded into an employee's trailer, bicycles and other things made their way Monday from offices in the plant to the lobby.
Binnix said The Salvation Army will distribute gifts Thursday to the 1,500 families of the angels.
Families have a scheduled appointment over a four-day period.
Plant employees also have "adopted a kettle," ringing the bell for The Salvation Army on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and on Saturdays in areas where their fellow workers, family and friends are likely to frequent. Money collected in those kettles helps support The Salvation Army programs.
"It is our corporate responsibility to be good social citizens," Tatman said. "But without good organizations such as The Salvation Army stepping up, we would not be able to do what we do to help."
Tatman said not only were "employees willing to share more of their (financial) blessings this year ... they also have been more generous with their time. I love to see them out in the community having an impact."
Binnix said GM was one of about 15 corporate or church groups that set up their own angel tree from The Salvation Army's list.
"People just do so much to help us," she said.
People can make a financial donation in the kettles outside many area stores. Anyone also can make a tax-deductible contribution (by check) in direct support of the food baskets that will be given out to angel families.
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