AWAITING THEIR ANGEL
The Angel Tree, organized by FMWR's Child Youth and School Services, stands ready to make a difference in a military child's life at the Post Exchange.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- This holiday season as you hang your ornaments on your Christmas tree, consider taking one off of another, and becoming an anonymous angel to a military child.
FMWR's Angel Tree Program, organized by Child Youth and School Services, is back again this year, connecting the Redstone community with the needs of military children this Christmas.

Anyone with access to the Arsenal, whether they be individuals, organizations, an office, or a group of co-workers wanting to make a difference, is invited to select an angel from the tree located just inside the doors of the Post Exchange, and go on a heartfelt holiday shopping spree for the military child listed.

Each anonymous angel on the tree includes information on a child's age, gender, clothing and shoe sizes, and toy wishes. All gifts should be wrapped with their angel attached to the outside of the gifts, and returned to the PX or Youth Center, building 3148, by 12:30 p.m. Dec. 10.

"If you are someone that is able to give, this is a great way to do it," Scott Shuffler, director of Youth Services, said.

Families facing hard times, whether it be due to a deployment, serious illness, unemployment, death in the family, or other trying event, are referred to the program by their unit; those not attached to a unit may be recommended through Army Community Service. Child Youth and School Services serves as the conduit for connecting the needs of the families with those in the community that are able to give in their own special way. Some Christmases children have even unwrapped presents to find an iPod, Xbox or bike, thanks to the generous donors on the Arsenal.

"It's a way to contribute to needs that you would never be aware of if there wasn't this kind of opportunity," Shuffler said. "You don't hear about what's happening in a Soldier's life. This is an opportunity to give, and to give something positive to a family."

The program began more than 10 years ago, when it originated with a youth council that wanted to give back to the military children of the Redstone community. Today the youth at the Youth Center become involved in any way they can with the project, whether it be wrapping gifts as they come in, organizing presents, or carrying them out to the cars of the representatives of the Soldiers' units that will deliver them.

"It's a community effort," Shuffler said. "We try to give the youth as many opportunities as possible to be involved."

The tree has been spreading the Christmas cheer at the PX since Nov. 6, and is located just inside the front doors of building 3220, to the left. For more information on the Angel Tree Program, call 876-5437.

Page last updated Fri November 19th, 2010 at 14:41