I have been an Angel Tree church coordinator for many years, but 2014 has to have been the best ministry year yet. God blessed our ministry in so many ways throughout the year and in a great way during our Angel Tree party. Our church volunteers purchased gifts for over 50 children, sent cards to their parents in prison, and provided support for their caregivers. Some of these caregivers are single moms, grandparents, and even great-grandparents who have limited resources.
I had two young moms, both unchurched and unemployed, who helped me organize and wrap the Angel Tree gifts. One of their ex-husbands is in prison, but he did not sign his kids up for Angel Tree. Our church made sure we served his kids anyway. While these two moms were assisting me with Angel Tree, God reached out and touched these families. Now they are attending Sunday school, church, and our AWANA program. Also, they both found jobs and started working the first week of January.
Out of the 50 children we gave gifts to this past Christmas, there was one little girl’s story I will never forget. She told her mom that she wanted a purple Bible, but she didn’t think it would be possible to find one. I purchase Bibles throughout the year, so I went to my shelf and sure enough I had a purple Bible! I received a note from the little girl’s mom after Christmas thanking me for making her child’s Christmas so special. She will never forget that God answered her request for a purple Bible.
As I was having my watchman prayer time the Tuesday before the Angel Tree party, I received a call from a church member. Her family wanted to donate four bikes to Angel Tree children. Wow! God is amazing. Our church had been assigned an Angel Tree family whose kids had requested bikes. I was able to exchange the bikes for the right size for the kids and also purchase them helmets. The mom couldn’t stop thanking all of us for the bikes and gifts.
I received letters from four prisoners thanking me for reaching out to them and their families. One shared that our card was the only one he received for Christmas.
A volunteer who helped with the party received a blessing from sharing with these families. She says, “You just don’t realize what it is really all about until you are there and see the kids and caregivers.”
We incorporated our church’s coupon ministry into our party also. With the coupons people brought to church each week, I purchased lots of items throughout the year for free, or almost free, and stocked our ministry room with personal care and household items. Each Angel Tree family was given a bag to fill with whatever items their family would use–shampoo, soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, school supplies, and more. The guests loved this part of the party. Our coupons were available for them to take as well. We had such wonderful fellowship with all of the families.
To register your church for Angel Tree season 2015, please visit www.angeltree.org.