First Christian Church takes over local Angel Tree program

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Area families have until Friday to qualify

The Barry County Sheriff's Office has turned over the local Angel Tree program to the First Christian Church of Cassville.

"We didn't have enough volunteers for it," said Sheriff Mick Epperly.

The Angel Tree got too big for the Sheriff's Office, which coordinated the program for the previous six to eight years, he said.

The Sheriff's Office contacted the church about taking over the Angel Tree, said Tom Thomas, senior minister at First Christian.

"They were so overwhelmed last year with so much, and they didn't have enough personnel and places to store [gifts]," Thomas said. "They approached us, and we told them that we would be glad to help them out."

2014 is the church's first year doing the Angel Tree.

"We are learning as we go," Thomas said.

In 2013, the Angel Tree volunteers wrapped more than 6,000 gifts.

Friday is the deadline for families to qualify for the Angel Tree. Proof of all household income for October or a 2013 tax return, number of food stamps and Social Security cards for each household member are required.

The church will pass out angel ornaments -- which includes the child's name; age; shoe, shirt and pant sizes; and gift request -- for each business, organization or person wanting to donate gifts by Dec. 12.

Community members can help the church wrap gifts on Dec. 15, Thomas said. Families can pick up their gifts Dec. 22, starting about 10 a.m., at the church's Faith Center.

Each family who wants to enroll into Angel Tree should come to First Christian, located at 905 Old Exeter Road, and enter the south door under the canopy.

For more information about enrolling, donating or wrapping gifts for Angel Tree, people may contact Thomas at 417-847-2460.

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