Woman shares how much her 'Angel Tree' gifts meant to her as a child in touching video
Some acts of kindness are unforgettable.
The way it works is simple: children and senior adults are assigned donors, aka “Angels” in the community, whom they share a personal Christmas wish list with. The angels then purchase those items, which are distributed semi-anonymously.
As a child with incarcerated parents, I was an Angel Tree kid, and I can still remember the feeling I got opening up the exact art set my heart yearned for. It was the feeling of truly being seen.
Getting my Angel Tree present was about more than just accumulating stuff—it reminded me that there were adults I could count on (even if I didn’t actually know them) and it allowed me to simply be a kid again for a moment, during a time when that often seemed impossible.
It’s these types of priceless memories the Angels provide, with little to no awareness of how deeply their generosity impacted the lives of those they gave to.
Recently, a woman named Ahsley ( with the TikTok handle @maybashleymarie) recounted her own life-changing experience as a former Angel Tree kid, and the video is going viral.
“When I was about 16, I lived in a homeless shelter with my parents,” she said in the clip. “And I remember when everybody came around and asked us what we wanted to put on our list for the angel tree, I was writing this out. And I thought about it really hard because there was stuff that I wanted, but there was also stuff that I really needed. Because as a kid in a shelter, you basically have the clothes that are on your back and that's it.”
But being in survival mode didn’t stop the teenager from wanting teenagery things, and so she put hoop earrings, black Converse sneakers, black eye liner, jeans, and a Playboy Bunny blanket on her list.
Not only did her Angel deliver, she “went above and beyond.” Ashley received not just one pair of hoop earrings, but 24 pairs in various shapes and sizes, enough black eyeliner to last her for years, skinny jeans with the tag still in place so Ashley could get her proper size, and bona fide name brand Converse sneakers, though she would have been completely content with generic.
Plus, much to her surprise, Ashley got that Playboy Bunny blanket—her favorite item on the list.
“I did not think at all, not one bit that that lady was going to actually give me a Playboy Bunny blanket, but when I opened that light pink blanket that said Playboy all across it, I was so excited. I was so happy. I still have that blanket to this day.”
Recently there has been a trend among influencers to go out to make Angel Tree donations, which inspired Ashley to make her video in the first place.
“I have to say, I am so thankful for all of these influencers and all these people with real money to be able to go out and actually buy gifts for these kids because you have absolutely no idea, no idea the difference that it makes in their lives and how that'll be lifetime memories for them,” she concluded.
The touching video received 3.2 million views, with several people sharing how much Ashley’s story moved them—even making them want to become Angels themselves.
“Seeing the other side of the angel tree just made me ball my eyes out, and now I must go do one,” one person wrote.
Other fellow Angel Tree kids, chimed in with their own experiences. One shared, “I was an angel tree kid when my parents were in rehab. It really does make a kid’s whole world.”
Another wrote, “I asked for the last book in the Lemony Snicket series and they bought me the whole series…hardback.”
If you’re curious about participating in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, you can find out more info at SalvationArmyUSA.org