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Angel tree provides Christmas blessings for area families PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 24 December 2015 00:00

The Angel Tree program, where individuals purchase gifts for area families, has been offered by the United Methodist Churches in Wauneta and Palisade for five years. Above, Pastor Bonnie McCord displays gifts gathered in Palisade. (Sheri Hink-Wagner | Johnson Publications)


By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze

The generous spirit surrounding Wauneta and Palisade is often mentioned throughout the year. This Christmas season the proof of these two communities’ generosity is very apparent.

The United Methodist Churches in Wauneta and Palisade hosted an Angel Tree program again this year which benefitted several families in Wauneta and Palisade.

This year marked the fifth year the churches have invited members of the communities to purchase gifts for children who may need them.

“I think for the families who receive, it’s a way to provide gifts to their children they might not otherwise be able to afford,” McCord explained. “For those who give, it is a way to give out of their abundance. And so, it’s a blessing for everyone.”

The “angels” who receive gifts are self-selected in partnership with Wauneta-Palisade Public Schools, who sends letters to families eligible for the free and reduced lunch program to see if they would like to be included in the program.

If the family indicates they would like to participate, UMC Pastor Bonnie McCord prepares “angel” tags, which give potential donors an idea of what each child would like for Christmas.

Each child’s “angel” lists basic Christmas wishes as well as age, clothing and shoe sizes. McCord said clothing is the most requested item through the history of the program.

Tags for each “angel” were hung on trees at Valley Bank & Trust Company in Wauneta and at Pioneer Community Federal Credit Union in Palisade.

“People were asking for angels before they were even out,” said McCord. Community members’ eagerness to make Christmas “angel” donations is just another example of the generosity seen in the communities.

A total of 41 “angels” were served through this year’s project. “Angels” included wish lists for each child as well as for a food basket for each family served.

Gifts were collected back at Valley Bank in Wauneta and PCFCU in Palisade. The gifts were distributed to families earlier this week.

McCord, who spearheaded the program’s start, said she is now aided by volunteers in both communities who assist in disbursing the items gathered.

She based the program’s structure off a similar program in Garden County. McCord and her husband would purchase gifts for “angels” in the Garden County program and there she got the idea of starting a similar program in Wauneta and Palisade once she arrived here.


United Methodist Church Pastor Bonnie McCord stands next to the Angel Tree gifts gathered in Wauneta. (Sheri Hink-Wagner | Johnson Publications)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 22:54