If you visit The Salvation Army warehouse on Covington Street in Rossville, one of your first impressions will be the number of boxes throughout the facility, each representing a family in need. The next will be the cold. Like most warehouses, there is no heat for the volunteers who sort Angel Tree gifts in December. In the midst of the boxes and volunteers, you’ll see Ruth Cote, a Salvation Army volunteer for over 35 years, and her worn, red gloves.
The gloves are clean but stained from over 20 years of Angel Tree volunteer work at the warehouse.
She proudly shows off the neat mending that’s kept them helpful in the hard work of moving toys three to four times throughout the warehouse to ensure gifts are ready the day families visit.
Rather than mend the little gloves, if you ask Ruth why she hasn’t replaced them, you’ll get a smile as she responds, “People know me for my red gloves. They will see me and ask, ‘Hey, where are your red gloves?’” The truth is that the gloves have become sentimental, reminding Ruth of why she gives her time and energy each Christmas season. “Growing up, I lived in the country with my Grandmother,” Ruth begins. “At Christmas, we didn’t get what we wanted, but we got something. When I see these families, I see where they’re struggling and I just want to help them.”
Ms. Cote goes on to say that she doesn’t so much see the adults, but “I see the children. It’s the children that breaks my heart.” And so Ruth and her red gloves continue to lift thousands and thousands of bags of toys and clothing items each Christmas season.
Join Ruth and other volunteers as they distribute Angel Tree gifts on Dec. 18 and 19,
at The Salvation Army warehouse at 5001 Covington Street by emailing Alissa Best at Alissa.email@example.com
. Or make a gift to ensure all angels are cared for by donating to CSArmy.org
, or by mail to 822 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga, Tn. 37403