The Angel Tree Program is celebrating its 10th year helping the less fortunate children in Princeton, and adoptions are already underway as the local Lions Club gears up to provide a special holiday for local families.
“This is always a great way to give back to the community,” said Donald McIntyre, Lions Club member and assistant superintendent for secondary curriculum. “It is awesome to see the community come together to help so many students.”
According to Superintendent Philip Anthony, there are hundreds of students who might go without Christmas if it weren’t for the efforts of the Lions Club.
“There’s no other civic organization besides the Lions Club that is set up to help and target the Princeton area exclusively,” he said.
Applications are being accepted on each Princeton campus for children who can benefit from this charitable effort. These will be verified using information from the free and reduced meal program, as well as recommendations from counselors regarding new circumstances.
The deadline for applications is Friday, Dec. 1. All Angel applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Angel Tree adoptions started Monday, Nov. 6, and continue until Monday, Dec. 11.
“For the past nine years, we’ve always been able to assist every eligible applicant,” Anthony said. “And applications are steadily coming in for this year.”
In just two weeks, there are already about 130 students and 40 families approved for the program.
According to Angel Tree organizers, the numbers typically increase from year to year. For 2016, 570 children from 192 families were adopted through Angel Tree.
“The numbers always go up from the year before,” McIntyre said. “We are estimating we will need to help more than 600 children this year.”
The community support plays a big role in getting every child adopted. The city of Princeton joins Citizens State Bank and Independent Bank with Angel Trees in those locations.
“We couldn’t do this without the help from the community,” McIntyre said. “We need everyone to make this happen.”
According to Anthony, district employees do a great job in stepping up to help. Many make payroll contributions, and lots of the teachers and coaches get the students in their programs to help by donating to the Angel Tree.
Groups such as FCA, PALs, cheer and National Honor Society adopt the Angel Tree program as a community service project, with each member bringing toys or clothes or shopping together as a group.
Deliveries to families will begin Tuesday, Dec. 12.
Procedures for adopting an angel include:
- Guideline: Spend approximately $60 per child.
- Clearly mark all presents with the family and child number from the adoption form. Donors are asked to use removable labels with the Family and Child number so the packages will not have handwriting on them.
- Return your unwrapped presents to the Auxiliary Services Building by Monday, Dec. 11. This is a change from previous years, as in the past, packages have been wrapped.
- If someone cannot afford to adopt an entire child, pair up to adopt a child.
- Make a monetary donation at any campus, administration office, Citizens State Bank or Independent Bank (checks payable to Princeton Lions Club); or
- Sponsor a portion of a child by selecting from the Angel Tree at either Citizens State Bank, Independent Bank or the City of Princeton. Individual items, including toys or clothing, will be available.
By Jean Ann Collins • PISD Communication Coordinator • [email protected]
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