*Note: This is an old post, there is updated information in a post here: Salvation Army Angel Tree FAQs.
The Salvation Army angel tree is one of my favorite ways to give every year at Christmastime. The Salvation Army asks screened families to fill out a "wish list" and you can fulfill it for a child in need. The kids request clothes, coats and normally a toy of some kind. Last year, for example, the younger kids I played Santa for asked for bikes. The older one asked for an mp3 player.
You can choose what angel you want and see their wishlist right up front. The gifts are then brought to the Salvation Army (or the mall) and delivered to the family in time for Christmas.
This year, they've added a new way you can pick out your angel. In addition to Park Plaza Mall, McCain Malls and select Wal-mart stores, they've added a list of angels online. You can go to the angel tree site and pick your angel out from the comfort of your home. The wishlists are visible, the age groups are broken down and, as far as I can tell, it's a similar experience to picking them out in the mall.
The gifts do not have to be purchased online. They can be brought to a pickup location or even shipped back to the Salvation Army. However, JCPenny has a site designed to help you pick out clothes and gifts for your angel and they will ship directly to the Salvation Army for you.
Have fun with the angel tree!