Angel Tree volunteer Nedra has 21 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren—but there’s always enough love for more.
At 87 years old, Angel Tree® volunteer coordinator Nedra Angel is proof that it’s never too late to make a difference.
She is a volunteer coordinator for Angel Tree, a program of Prison Fellowship®, that serves prisoners’ families at Christmas and year-round.
As coordinator, Nedra voluntarily organizes the Angel Tree Christmas program at her church in Columbus, Ohio. Every year, members of her congregation provide gifts to children on behalf of their incarcerated parents. They also deliver the Gospel message and personal notes from children’s incarcerated parents.
“We’re a very small church with big hearts,” says Nedra.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Nedra has 21 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren—but there’s always room in her heart to love on more kids. Angel Tree hits especially close to home, since one of her grandsons spent time behind bars not long ago.
The Angel Tree program keeps Nedra busy, but she’s not in it alone. Some of the ladies in her small group help write the necessary information on each Angel Tree tag: the names of the child and prisoner parent, the child’s age, the requested gift. Much of the congregation is elderly, but they volunteer however they can, even if they don’t make it to the store to shop for presents. A small donation or act of service can go a long way.
In the chaos of coordinator duties, the love of Christ keeps her going. “The duties are taxing,” Nedra says. “I know that because, I guess, I give my all ...but I don’t think there is anything that you can do over and beyond [for God].”
For the last few years, Nedra’s team of volunteers has hosted a Christmas luncheon for Angel Tree children and caregivers. She adores watching children’s eyes light up as they receive a gift from Mom or Dad.
“Oh, they’re excited,” Nedra shares. “It’s such a beautiful program and a way of introducing not only the youngsters, but also their families, to know God.”
A PURPOSE FOR ALL OF US
Nedra loves nonprofit work and calls Angel Tree her “mission.” Her mobility has become more limited in recent years, but as long as she is able to volunteer, she doesn’t plan to quit.
“I do what God lets me do, and He has a purpose for all of us,” she says.
All of us—that includes many backgrounds, ages, and stages of life—can make an impact. What better time to start than this Christmas?
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