The Mercer County Angel Tree Program relies on the support of the community, and if you have been involved in the past, you know how valuable this program is to the children of Mercer County.
Angel Tree was established in 2005 to unite the efforts of the many local agencies, organizations, churches and businesses all trying to provide gifts for families who would not have much Christmas cheer without assistance. Across the years, it has grown to become an inspiring success. Last year, this effort provided 2500 gifts to children from over 300 local families.
This year, invitations to participate in Angel Tree were mailed to over 500 income-eligible Mercer County households. These invitations included an application for parents to fill out and return to Our Home Family Resource Center by November 21. From these applications, gift tags can be created specific to the age, gender, and clothing sizes for the children in need.
Generous folks from across the county take these tags and purchase the children’s gifts. Then the gifts are collected and organized into rooms and tables by size and age so parents can “go shopping” on December 13. On shopping day, parents select an outfit and two toys for each child 0-12 years of age. The gifts are then wrapped and packaged, ready to be taken home and placed under the Christmas tree.
Angel Tree “shopping day” is a distinctive method for distributing gifts and it is central to our mission to bring hope into households across the county. Rather than simply providing gifts for folks to put under the tree, we are sowing a sense of dignity by inviting parents to be personally involved in selection of gifts for their children.
Churches, organizations and individuals can support Angel Tree in several ways: purchasing gifts, volunteering, or making cash donations.
Purchasing gifts: A group can take a number of Angel Tree tags and display them on a tree to allow group members, staff, or customers the opportunity to personally donate gifts, which the group collects for the program. To request tags, contact Betty Leininger at 419-953-4218.
Volunteering: Several hundred volunteers are needed to set up on December 12, and to help with “shopping” and wrapping on December 13. To volunteer or for more information, contact Diane Martens at 419-586-3645.
Donating: Monetary gifts help to provide gift boxes for children 13 years old, to purchase gifts for children 0-12 years old, and to offer extra items for the families. If you would like to make a donation, you can mail it or bring it to Our Home at 117 West Fayette St. in Celina. (Make checks payable to Our Home Inc.)
If you have any questions about this program, please feel free to contact Our Home at 419-586-4663.