On Dec. 18 Roberta Franco and several volunteers worked hard to distribute the hundreds of toys and clothes donated through the Salvation Army’s ‘Angel Tree’ project to the qualified families. The distribution took place in the Old Boxing Club gymnasium. Several volunteers were kept busy hauling bikes, bags and boxes to the waiting automobiles.
It was a good thing the temperatures were mild and the sun was feeling slightly warm as the line of mothers and fathers waited patiently to pick up the toys and clothing they were so grateful to receive. The process and wait took a while. “There was a lot of merchandise covering the floor but the volunteers were like pros and knew just where everything was so it made the whole experience a whole lot smoother than I thought it would be”, said one of the women who had just finished loading up her vehicle. “This is such a blessing” she said with tears in her eyes. “I lost my job a while ago and I didn’t know what I was going to do. Thank you, whoever you are.”
The Salvation Army Angel Tree program founders were determined that no child, not matter how difficult the circumstances, would go without a gift under the tree on Christmas Eve. Through the generous donations of community members and the organizational skills of the volunteers in Mesquite, 116 families and 256 children won’t be disappointed this Christmas.
Angel Trees are placed in many public venues during the month of November. The public is welcome to pick a tag off the tree and purchase holiday gifts for that family or child. The only information given to the donor is age, gender and a wish list. Clothing sizes are provided if the wish list includes clothing. The donor has the option to purchase clothing or toys. The volunteers are careful to keep the wish lists/tags of clothing and toys separate.
The Angel Tree project requires certain criteria to qualify and because of the delicate nature of the qualifications all applicants are kept anonymous. By the smiles and looks of those loading up their gifts the parents were grateful to the generous patrons who donated the items they were on their way home to wrap, and for the joy they were imagining would be in their child’s eyes when they opened them on Christmas morning.