by Danny Wade
Christmas is a time of giving. And what better way to celebrate the season than by giving to those in need.
The Boys & Girls Club of Humboldt is again having an angel tree. This will be the eighth angel tree for the club. They have had an angel tree every year since the Boys & Girls Club formed.
“This is an opportunity for the community to help parents who can’t afford Christmas items,” said B&G Director Gladys Robinson. “It’s a way to make sure their kids have a great Christmas.”
This year’s tree will have about 60 angels, each for a particular child. The majority of the angels are for club members, Robinson said. Each angel has a list with the child’s name, age and clothing sizes. There is a list of what the child needs, such as school uniforms, underwear, pajamas, coats, glove, etc. Then there is a list of what the child wishes they could have, such as toys, electronics or jewelry.
Last week, Humboldt realtors came together and adopted angels from the tree as a way to give back to Humboldt.
“The realtors proudly support the future of Humboldt and the Boys & Girls Club,” said local realtor, Joan Smith.
“We begin planning for the angel tree in August,” Robinson noted. “The parent must fill out an application. In order to get on the angel tree, a family member must do a minimum of 20 community service hours per child. This could be through the club, the Helping Hand, Senior Citizens Center, Headstart, or their church. The family member selects the community service that is feasible for them and their time.”
Robinson said the community service hours must be kept by someone within the organization and must track their time. The supervisor will sign off on a log sheet verifying the actual number of community hours performed.
“We want them (family member performing service hours) to buy into it,” Robinson said. “Plus, it helps the organizations by having extra assistants.”
Sponsors who adopt an angel typically spend between $150 to $200 but Robinson said it could be more or less. It is totally up to the sponsor. As of last week, all but four or five angels on the tree have been adopted by sponsors.
“This has been such an awesome program,” Robinson added. “Kids’ smiles when they get their presents, makes it all worthwhile.”
Robinson said the sponsors stay anonymous, the children do not know who purchased their gifts. But, the children create thank you cards for their sponsors.
The children will receive their presents on Saturday, December 14 from 10 a.m. until noon. Robinson said some of the presents will be opened then but they recommend the gifts be taken home and put under the family’s Christmas tree for Christmas morning.
Robinson said there are children who are members of the Boys & Girls Club that need assistance but do not participate in the angel tree program. Robinson wants to make sure those children are not left out.
“We always need uniforms and clothing,” Robinson explained. “Even if a community member does not adopt a child (from the angel tree), they can still donate to the club for the kids. The majority of our kids are in need but did not qualify for the angel tree program.”
The Boys & Girls Club provides so much for Humboldt’s children, the future leaders. Donating to help them out is an easy way to pay it forward, whether it simply a few dollars or a substantial donation, every dollar is welcome, needed and goes to a good cause.
“The reason we have an angel tree? We want our kids to know they are loved and that the community has their best interest at heart,” Robinson said. “We want them to enjoy what they receive and be happy.”