Angel Tree Making a Difference in Kay County
published on 12/09/2010
The trees are simply adorned and scattered around Kay County in places most likely to attract attention. The Salvation Army's Angel Trees are Christmas trees decorated with paper cutouts printed with a cherubic boy in Salvation Army uniform playing the drum. Each one represents a child whose family qualifies for food stamps and will, most likely, have a meager celebration of this cherished Christmas holiday.
Each paper tag bears the name and gender of a child between the ages from birth through 12 years. It also offers information on the child's toy wishes and clothing sizes. As appealing as the little drummer boy's paper face is, it can't convey the hope and anticipation a child feels as Dec. 25 draws closer.
Rebecca Ware, Salvation Army case worker, explained there are 756 paper tags representing Kay County children on food stamps whose family would welcome a neighborly hand with providing presents to place under the tree. The children belong to 307 area families who also qualify for a Christmas food basket.
"To qualify, each parent must provide proof the children are in their custody, proof of residence in Kay County, of income, and proof of food stamps," Ware said. "Families can sign up for the Angel Tree and food baskets or just a food basket if they don't have young children in the home. This year we even have referrals for a few 'Silver Angels' if someone wants to adopt an elderly Kay County citizen for the holiday."
The Angel Trees are located in Ponca City's Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Brace Books, two branches of RCB Bank, Sykes, First Presbyterian Church, Master's Touch, the office of Dr. Terry Boring, ConocoPhillips and First Christian Church. Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa has a tree as does a location in Blackwell.
The paper tags are free to take from the trees. On back of each are instructions for purchasing gifts and returning them, unwrapped, by Friday, Dec. 10, to the Salvation Army office, 601 South Third Street.
"We ask gifts be unwrapped," noted Ware. "In the past, we've had used or broken items donated for the program. We also need to ensure the gifts are truly appropriate for the little ones. The families will then wrap the donated presents."
If tags are still hanging on the trees waiting for a kind spirit to fill the inscribed wishes, then the Salvation Army staff will shop for the child using donations earmarked for the angel tree project.
"We help out a lot of people and really make difference," Ware said. "We try our best to screen out those who are abusing the system from those who are truly in need. Then, it's in God's hands."
Food items for the 307 Christmas food boxes are asked to be dropped off at the Salvation Army office. The food collected will stay in Kay County.
"Any item that would help make a family's holiday meal would be a blessing," Ware said. "Our goal is to provide every family that has applied for this help to receive a food box this year."
To provide a complete meal, the Salvation Army suggests a turkey or ham, potatoes, gravy, stuffing mix, three cans of vegetables, macaroni and cheese, jello, fruit or pie filling and dinner rolls. To donate individual items also consider providing ingredients that help make holiday desserts such as flour, sugar, brown sugar, cake mixes, frosting, sweet potatoes, canned soups and fried onions for green bean casserole.
PAPER TAGS from the Salvation Army Angel Tree represent the Christmas wishes of a needy family's child living in Kay County. Those interested in helping may take a tag, purchase new clothing and/or toy items and return them to the Salvation Army office by Friday, Dec. 10. (News Photo by Carey Head)
article from Ponca City News