During the holidays, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the festivities and excitement and forget about those who are less fortunate. But each year, the sisters of Sigma Phi Lambda, aka Phi Lambs, host an event called Angel Tree.
Angel Tree is a program sponsored by the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is a Christian organization whose mission is to preach the word of God and to provide resources for basic human needs to those who require assistance. The Angel Tree program benefits local Austin-area children who have at least one parent who is incarcerated.
This event is on going through the month of November.
According to Randi Spencer, a junior and member of Phi Lambs who was working the Angel Tree concourse table this week, being a part of the Angel Tree program is great because “it’s all for the kids and being able to help facilitate [the kids receiving gifts] is fun!”
There are tables set up in the concourse during lunch and dinner where there are lists of kids from which to choose. If you are interested, you can stop by and talk to one of the ladies working the table and they will explain the process to you. Or, you could just read it here.
There are lots of kids to choose from – boys and girls ranging from infancy to 11 and 12 years old. You can sift through the mounds of names and pick a child who catches your eye. They all have a few wish-list items listed on a card with their name on it. For example, Manuel is nine and he really likes football and needs some new shoes this year. All of the kids have wish-lists similar to these.
If you find a child you would like to sponsor, you ‘adopt’ that angel from the concourse table. By ‘adopting’ this child’s wish-list, you are pledging to put thoughtful effort into choosing and purchasing age-appropriate items which are similar to the ones on the list. No one is expected to buy a Wii for a child this season!
Anyone who ‘adopts’ an angel from Angel Tree is encouraged to bring back two toys and one article of clothing unwrapped. The ‘unwrapped’ part is important because the Salvation Army will screen gifts for appropriateness once Sigma Phi Lambda returns them all. All gifts will then be distributed to the families just in time for the holidays!
Want to sponsor a child but feel like it could be expensive? That’s what student Natalie Thaddeus, a junior, first thought.
But she told me that she believes a “good idea would be to go in and ‘adopt’ an angel with your mom or your cousin Samantha or with your roommate. That way, you still get to help out a child in need and you give your wallet a break”.
If you have any questions about Angel Tree, what it is all about, you can contact Brooke Blomquist.