Communities in Schools of Greenbrier County (CISGC) has announced that they have successfully collected Christmas gifts for 200 children in the county through their Angel Tree program.
CISGC partnered this year with the Wild Bean, Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, Big Draft Brewing and Rainelle Medical Center to collect gifts for their fourth annual gift drive.
The gift recipients are selected by GISGC staff.
“(The children) are on the Communities in Schools’ case load,” explained CISGC Executive Director Brittany Masters. “We know these kids well.”
Masters said that oftentimes siblings of those children are also selected to be Angel Tree recipients.
Masters explained that the Angel Tree program works by displaying Christmas trees in partner locations. Each tree has paper ornaments on it with each ornament representing a child.
Each ornament gives the sponsor information such as the age and grade of the child, their clothing and shoe size, their favorite toy and colors, and what the child wants and needs.
Sponsoring a child on the Angel Tree is a big commitment; when a person chooses to sponsor a child from the Angel Tree, they are committing to providing them with their entire Christmas.
“We are not supplementing a child’s Christmas,” said Masters. “We are providing it.”
Masters acknowledged that sponsoring a child can get expensive, especially this year with prices rising due to inflation. She said that lots of times people partner together to sponsor a child so that the financial burden isn’t too great.
Once a sponsor commits to a child from the Angel Tree and purchases all the child’s gifts, they then return them back to the partner location in gift bags.
The Angel Tree drive manages to provide Christmas to a child in an extraordinarily short amount of time. This year, Masters said, the Angel Tree drive lasted from Nov. 14-Dec. 8, and in that short time, they were able to get all 200 participating children sponsored.
Not only do people purchase items for the Angel Tree recipients, some also make monetary donations to CISGC, which is also helpful. “Inevitably, there will be things we need to purchase,” explained Masters.
Masters said that this year Old Stone Presbyterian Church is also donating “breakfast in a bag” — items to make Christmas breakfast — for over 70 families as part of the Angel Tree gift distribution.
“Year after year, this project proves that the magic of Christmas is still alive,” said Masters. “We want to thank community sponsors, partner locations, Old Stone Presbyterian Church and everyone else who made this Christmas miracle possible.”