Adoptions are underway for this year’s Angel Tree program, which kicked off its 11th year helping the less fortunate children in Princeton 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 Monday, Dec. 3. All Angel applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Angel Tree adoptions started Monday, Nov. 5, and continue until Monday, Dec. 10.
“For the past 10 years, we’ve always been able to assist every eligible applicant,” Anthony said. “And applications are already coming in for this year.”
According to Angel Tree organizers, the numbers typically increase from year to year. For 2017, 611 children from 195 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 again this year.”
The community support plays a big role in getting every child adopted. The city of Princeton joins First Bank and Trust 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 teachers and coaches get the students in their programs to help by donating to the Angel Tree.
Groups such as FCA, PALs, athletic teams, 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 Thursday, Dec. 13.
Procedures for adopting an angel include:
Guidelines include spending approximately $60 per child, and clearly marking all presents with the family and child number from the adoption form. Donors are asked to use removable labels with the numbers so the items will not have handwriting on them.
The drop-off deadline is Monday, Dec. 10. The drop-off location for returning the unwrapped presents will be determined by family number this year because of construction at the Auxiliary Services Building. Drop-off for families 101-200 will be at the Auxiliary Services Building. Drop-off for families 201 and higher will be at the PISD Administration Building.
If someone cannot afford to adopt an entire child, they are encouraged to pair up with friends to adopt a child together.
Monetary donations are also accepted at any campus, administration office, First Bank and Trust or Independent Bank. Make checks payable to the Princeton Lions Club.
Participants may also sponsor a portion of a child by selecting from the Angel Tree at either First Bank and Trust, Independent Bank or the city of Princeton. Individual items, including toys or clothing, will be available.
By Jean Ann Collins • Contributing Writer • [email protected]
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